Circle of Friends

The work being done by our partners, Circle of Friends is an inspiration.

They are activating one hundred volunteers from around Ukraine to befriend fifteen of the state-run orphanages. The children at these institutions really need a friend! They are desperately crying out for meaningful relationships with people who care about them. Among other things, volunteers help with summer and winter camps, providing the children with a needed escape from their day to day routine. 

It was through Circle of Friends that last year we were able to distribute warm clothing and shoes to children from some of these orphanages and this year our hope is to help even more. 

On arriving at the orphanage I was greeted with sincere thanks as the children proudly paraded in their warm winter coats. They had been informed I was visiting and were rapid in expressing sincere thanks. To be honest, being March and still below freezing was a perfectly good reminder as to why we began Keep a Child Warm, and why it is so vital. 

I found out that there are 2000 children living in the fifteen orphanages we have access to. This is my target – to have enough coats, gloves, hats, blankets and shoes for every single one of these children. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?


The first room I went into consisted of 5 beds and the first thing that caught my eye was the splash of colour of one of the beds – I recognised it right away – a blanket knitted and donated by Loving Hands.

A number of people are planning to join me on a distribution trip in October. This is good news because during my brief visit, there were a few children I met who I would simply love to see again. 

The heartbreaking part of my visit I referred to earlier was in my saying goodbye. In such a short time my heart was filled with love for these precious little lives and one boy in particular wasn’t ready to say goodbye. His tears as he hugged me broke through any amount of my British reservation and I joined in. With tears rolling down my cheeks I spoke the words “I’ll be back” – a promise I intend to keep. 


Rebecca Flanagan