Platteville-area people have the opportunity to help orphans 5,000 miles east of Platteville.
Heart to Heart International is conducting a pajama drive for orphans in Romania through Feb. 28.
The group is looking for donations of 500 pairs of new pajamas, sizes 4T to adult small (men’s and women’s).
Heart to Heart International describes Romania thusly: “Due to a corrupt government and a bad economy, Romania has been left with thousands of abandoned children living in government institutions. Living in these government institutions has left these children unloved and neglected, in need of medical, educational, and spiritual development.”
Heart to Heart International cares for abandoned infants and toddlers, provides education for school-aged children, and mentors and disciples older teens who have been institutionalized throughout their childhood.
The pajama drive is taking place 12 years after a similar drive in 2001, the same year Caitlin Acierno of Platteville made her first trip to Romania.
“We went to an all-girls orphanage,” she said. “I was only 4. [The orphans] went to this camp in the summer, and back at the orphanage we built them a playground.”
A fund drive raised money for the playground. “Platteville was really generous,” she said. “People donated so much.”
Acierno returned to Romania with her mother and sister and a group of college students last summer.
Collection points include The Platteville Journal, 25 E. Main St.; Neal Wilkins Elementary School, 425 Broadway; Westview Elementary School, 1201 W. Camp St.; Platteville Middle School, 40 E. Madison St.; Platteville High School, 710 E. Madison St.; and Community Evangelical Free Church, 300 Pioneer Road East.
Gift-in-kind receipts for donors are available.
The group is also asking for donations to help with shipping.
More information is available by emailing email@example.com or by going to www.h2hint.org.