Three special need adults and residents of Breckenridge Village of Tyler (BVT) recently delivered 175 knitted caps to Children’s Emergency Relief International (CERI) to be given to orphans in Eastern Europe during the organization’s “Operation Cross the River (OCR09)” Christmas mission.
BVT is BCFS’ faith-based residential community offering a variety of services for adults with mild to moderate cognitive/developmental disorders. Eight residents began knitting the winter hats in January under the direction of Day Program Staff member, Diane Stone, and completed and delivered them in September to CERI, the overseas division of Baptist Child & Family Services (BCFS). The three residents knitting the most hats, Anne Marie, Laci and Brynne, proudly transported their hand-knitted work to CERI staff in Houston.
“It made my heart feel so good to send a little piece of love to someone in need,” said Anne Marie, who helped deliver the winter hats.
Parents and members of the BVT Women’s Auxiliary donated money, yarn and knitting looms to make the project possible. Although it was the residents’ first year to contribute to the mission, BVT fully expects it to become an annual project.
“The women would ask every day when we could get back to knitting; they loved doing something for others,” said Stone.
Each December, CERI alternates between the two Eastern European countries of Moldova and Transniestria to lead mission teams that distribute warm winter shoes, socks, hats and scarves to orphans. This year, OCR09 will take place December 4-20 and will have 10 volunteers on two separate two week teams with members of churches from Texas, West Virginia, Alabama and Virginia participating. CERI has ordered 2,700 pairs of winter boots for this year’s mission. Volunteers across the country have been working since January to ensure that each child receives new boots and socks along with knit caps and scarves.
Shoe missions to Moldova began in 1999 when a mission’s team from Kingwood First Baptist Church noticed wide-spread frost bite on the feet of orphans throughout the country. Since then, CERI has provided more than 80,000 new winter boots and socks to protect the country’s most vulnerable. In 2006 and 2008, every orphan in Moldova and Transniestria received a new pair of boots thanks to CERI and its faithful supporters.
CERI relies on the help of volunteers and generous contributors every day to carry out the work of serving children and families in crisis around the world. To contribute to CERI’s OCR09 or to donate funds to help pay for boots, checks can be mailed to CERI – 1406 Stone Hollow, Suite 400 Kingwood, TX 77339 with OCR09 in the memo line.