Just this past week, in the main lobby of our Foundations’ headquarters in Tirana, we had re-displayed our holiday kart for our annual ‘Toy drive’ that benefits poor communities of school children outside of the Capital, when mother nature decided to shake us all up with disastrous earthquakes that have devastated areas of northwest Albania and produced many losses of lives. As we are writing this, teams from several countries continue to be involved in rescuing missions to salvage people under ruins, and Albanians, inside and outside the country, are collecting large amounts of goods, supplies and making financial contributions in a variety of ways, and we are involved too. The aftershocks, meantime, persist at odd intervals and level of magnitude, but still relentless.
Throughout the year our website provides more than one method of making financial contributions, and with this message we reconfirm this possibility and the assurance that what we receive is always totally spent for the purpose at hand. And this is the case also for the current situation. For those of you that have already contacted us, thank you for re-expressing your trust in us and our actions.
In the dedicated environment of the Ivanaj Foundation Institute where, based on our mission, we normally and routinely provide unusual and unique assistance/training/counseling/presentations regarding cultural and educational projects that are much appreciated by different audiences, we are also involved in an assortment of other activities, with collaborators and volunteers. The annual ‘Toy Drive’ happens to be one of them, and in the last two years it included books and other useful gifts for children of all ages.
Due to this year’s circumstances our collection should not be considered literally and simply by what the title word seems to imply, but as an additional support that will include also bare essentials especially for babies and children (9.000 of them so far mentioned being affected) that this year may not even have a home to spend the holidays in. Some of these provisions will be bought by us with ours and anyone else’s financial contributions sent to us.
Our thanks are already due to those that, for instance, have already donated through us blankets, which we have already delivered, and to those that instead prefer to send money, which will be put to good use for necessities and useful gifts for children. Our staff and volunteers, as done before, will joyfully and lovingly wrap every package that we will distribute by mid-December to where they are going to be mostly needed.
Meanwhile, we are meeting with people that feel the need to talk and just share their anxiety and we are evaluating requests for temporary use of office space for data gathering projects of other organizations that can no longer count on their former locations, but we are also using our internal facilities for our own management and staff needs and relief. It is truly ‘Thanksgiving’ time and we feel blessed to have friends and help all the way around and that we can also share it.