Special Project

Coal and Wood Project Winter 2010-2011

For the last 14 years, LSM has provided coal and wood for heating to orphanages (still using these systems for heating the facilities), impoverished families and elderly persons living in rural villages throughout Moldova. In the winter of 2010-2011 LSM continued the project providing tons of coal and wood.

One-time Project
Special Project

For the last 14 years, LSM has provided coal and wood for heating to orphanages (still using these systems for heating the facilities), impoverished families and elderly persons living in rural villages throughout Moldova.  In the winter of 2010-2011 LSM continued the project providing tons of coal and wood.  Below are just some of the many families who benefitted from this project this winter.  Thank you to everyone who continues to make this project possible.  It is with your support of LSM that during the winter season, children and adults can have warmth in their homes or orphanages.

Anica is an 89 year old woman. Her husband died years ago and their adopted son died 2 years ago.  She has no relatives and lives alone.  Due to her frail bones and deteriorated health, she cannot walk or stand for more than a few minutes.  Through the house she moves around on her hands and knees.  During the summer months when it is warm, it is easier, but during the frigid winter months, it is a daily struggle for her.  Anica has a small garden next to her home and during the summer months, she ties old rags around her knees and crawls to her garden where on her knees she works the soil and plants a few seeds in hopes of having a few crops to sustain her.  Her pension is so small that it is insufficient to cover the costs of bread and basic medicine she needs to alleviate some of the pain she endures.


When LSM’s humanitarian aid staff arrived at her home they found her in the back of her house, sifting ash in an attempt to find any remnants of coal so she could start a fire in her stove to provide some heat. She stays fully clothed in her home and even sleeps in her coat due to the lack of warmth in her home.   When she saw that LSM staff came to her home with a delivery of coal she asked, “but who are you? Who could have sent you because a gift like this can only come from God! Only He knows my suffering and pain.” She continued saying, “I don’t know how to thank you for what you have brought me. You didn’t just bring me one sack of coal but several, enough to last me the entire winter.  I simply can’t believe that it will be finally warm in my home the rest of the season.  Who knows it might be my last winter and I won’t be cold now, but I can heat my home. Thank you LSM for remembering those who have been forgotten by everyone.”

Iulie and Eugenia: Iulie (60years old) and Eugenia (70 years old) have no children and are both ill.  Eugenia spent most of the last 16 years in and out of the hospital.  When LSM staff came to their home with the coal distribution, they found both of them fully clothed with gloves on to keep their hands from freezing.  The temperature in the house was far below what would be acceptable for living conditions.  Lida, LSM’s northern Moldova director asked them what they use in order to make their fire for cooking or heating.  Eugenia took her outside and showed her the corn stalks she had collected to use only for


making a fire in order to cook cornmeal porridge because they have no resources to purchase food goods.  The have a few carrots and onions  to last them through the winter stored in a cellar which they harvested from their small yard.  They both live off of one pension,  Eugenia’s, because Iulie only qualifies for a pension in 2 more years, however being ill he cannot work.  With 50$ /month they pay for the electrical bill and the medicines they both need.    LSM staff called them the day before to inform them of the coal delivery they would receive the next day.  Eugenia said: “I couldn’t sleep at all that night.  I kept thinking, is it possible that someone thought of us to bring such joy into our home?”  The next day, LSM vans pulled up into their yard and delivered sacks full of coal and bundles of firewood.  “When I saw how many sacks of coal LSM brought and the firewood as well, I couldn’t believe it was all for us. Now we will be able to feel warmth in our home and we can take our gloves off.” She continued, “you know my pension comes on the 9th of the month and now it is the 1st of February.  I had one more week until the pension money and I kept worrying how will we make it because I still had some cornmeal to boil each day for food, but if the corn stalks would run out, we would not have a way to make a fire in order to boil the water for the cornmeal.  We thought we could go in the fields to look for more corn stalks, but it is so difficult for us to walk even if we could go to get some more, most of the cornstalks have already been gathered by others.  We simply cannot thank you enough for this gift of coal.  You have warmed our homes, our cold hands, and our souls with your kindness.” Knowing that both Eugenia and her husband suffer from severe pains in their joints, LSM also provided them with medicine.  “When we endure pain in our bodies it seems twice as painful when we are also living in very cold conditions from lack of heat, but now we have coal for heating and medicine for the pain and we can’t thank you enough” said Iulie

Gasa is 82 and completely blind. His wife has been deceased for many years and his only daughter left to go work in another country and has not been back to see him for years.  He tries to survive on his own with no help.   Around the outside of his home, he tied a rope so that he can hold on to it when he walks outside.  His living conditions are devastating yet regardless of the fact that he is blind he makes his own fire and prepares his food.  Neighbors bring him food occasionally from the little they have.  “I know everyone is having a hard time now with trying to survive, and I can’t burden someone else with my needs.  I’m grateful for the plate of food that neighbors bring me every now and then because my pension is not enough to last a month to buy the most basic food and medicine, “ he said.  “I cry many times.  Being all alone is so difficult now especially when I am old.”  LSM staff delivered sacks of coal and bundles of wood to Gasa.  “I thank you so much for what you have brought me. Although I cannot see the coal, I touched the sacks and the coal with my hands and I know there is enough to last me the remainder of the winter and my house will be warm.  And maybe if it is warm in my home, my neighbors will come to visit me so I can have someone to talk to once in a while.  I have slept every night fully clothed with a coat and hat because it is so cold. Sometimes I wonder if the winter will ever end.”  Lida, LSM Humanitarian Aid staff noticed that when Gasa touched the sacks of coal, he had tears in his eyes.  For several minutes he continued to cry.  “To those who thought of me, an old blind man here in Moldova, and sent me this coal, may God give you health and may He repay your generosity.  I’ve heard many good things about the Little Samaritan Mission but now the time came for me to experience directly this kindness.”

The Coal and Wood Project distributions began in December and continue throughout the winter season into late March.  In some rural areas where delivery by truck or van is not possible, LSM Humanitarian Aid Staff makes the deliveries by horse-drawn carts.  Regardless of frigid temperatures, inaccessible roads, or other obstacles, coal and bundles of wood continue to be delivered to those who need it most in Moldova.

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