Going into debt -- just to stay warm

Romanians are used to winter weather. But the record-breaking storms that have pounded Europe over the past several weeks haven’t been normal snow. They’ve left many communities isolated and without basic supplies, especially rural areas where people were just barely getting by before the storms.

World Vision's Laura Reinhardt was on assignment in Romania for two weeks. Some of the families she met there talked about the additional burden.

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Bianca, 6, shows her hand-me-down snow boots. Her mother hand-sewed them to keep the snow out. Diana Arcip, 28, lives in the Vaslui area with her husband, Gheorghita, and their three children. Neither of the parents has a job except for the agricultural work that’s available in summer and autumn. There’s nothing in winter. People have to survive on summer savings.

For Diana and Gheorghita, anything they’d saved was already gone when the heavy snows blanketed their village.

“We borrowed some money to buy wood now, because we didn’t have anymore,” said Diana Arcip. “I’m still worried. I have to give the money back, and I don’t know where I’m going to get it.”

Diana’s bright-eyed 6-year-old daughter, Bianca, showed us how many layers of clothes she has on to keep warm -- three pairs of socks and four summer shirts.

Her snow boots were hand-me-downs from other village children. When they got them, the zipper was torn, so Diana hand-sewed them up to keep the snow out.

The oldest boy, Petronel, 7, was quieter and more subdued than his sister. He’s skinny and small for his age.  He’s also ill with gastritis much of the time.

Diana wants to take him to the hospital, but the family doesn’t have the money for the bus ride, let alone medical care.

World Vision Romania staff dropped off food staples and blankets for the Arcip family. “It was a huge joy,” said Diana.

Read related posts: Climbing a mountain in frigid, snowy Romania; and Snow traps thousands in Romania

Make a one-time gift to help provide warm clothing to children in need in cold climates like Romania. Your donation, combined with generous donations from our corporate partners, will multiply 11 times to deliver items like coats, boots, shirts, pants, and more.

Also, consider sponsoring a child in Romania. Your love and support for a boy or girl in need will provide extra stability and assistance during times of crisis, like the recent cold snap.


    Try contacting World Vision.

    Oh that was weird, I must have missed that you did contact them. What a God thing!

    Hello, i never really thought about Romania untill i just read this heart-wrentching article. Things like this really make me want to try that much harder in my own life so that i can make contributions to people in need like this, so thank-you and hopefully soon i will have the money to donate.

    Thank you, Adam, for sharing your heart with us. There are so many places in this world that aren't on the forefront of our minds when it comes to "need." Thank YOU for reading this post and choosing to work harder to help! -Jonathan, WV staff

    i was in Romania yrs ago in the dead of winter. for such a poor country they trully are the most giving. I miss them all.

    Billie, what a blessing it must have been to be with the Romanians. Our prayers continue to be with them. -Jonathan, WV staff

    Thank you so much for sharing the story of this precious family. It broke my heart to hear of Petronel's condition. My son recently had the same condition, and he received the best medical care our country has to offer, yet this family doesn't have the resources to get him to the doctor, let alone pay for it. It is so difficult to see your child suffer, but how much harder to have not have the means to do something about it. I pray for his health, for God's provision for this family, and that they would know His love for them. Thank you for your compassionate work on behalf of people like these, and for sharing these great needs with us.

    Kevin, thanks so much for reading and for sharing your own story with us. Blessings to you and your family! ~Matthew, WV staff

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