Children are...                

Angels From Heaven

By: Ray O’Brien                        Vol. 5   Jan. to Dec. 2002

                


 

Hi Everyone…

 

          Another year has passed and so has another trip to Calcutta India in Nov 2002.  As all of you know I visit poor children every year at Thanksgiving as a way to say Thank You for my 3 beautiful children who were adopted from that city.  My trips started in 1996 because of my oldest daughter Joanna (6 yrs) old asking me “Dad” what is India like?  Because all three of my children were escorted during the adoption process I never traveled to India.  I felt it my obligation as a “Dad” to find out about the country, my little girl was born in.

 

            I can still remember my first trip it was something that I will never forget.  I found out that the world is very much different the hard way through culture shock.  Many of the things I took for granted, such as, a house to live in, my children going to school each day or having clean hot and cold water delivered to my kitchen sink are just a few.

 

            After visiting another city where many of the people are poor, it opened my eyes.  I could now write a book of how good I have it in America.  At times I have it too good, and it makes me feel sad thinking of the people with little or nothing. 

 

            During my trips to Calcutta, I visit as many poor children as I can and try to help them in some small way.  I know deep in my heart that there is no crime for being born.  Children are Children no matter where they are on this earth, the color of their skin or the God they believe in.  I am very happy to say our organization Children are Angels from Heaven has grown over the past few years and we have done many small projects that have helped many children.  Each project has been documented and photographed for all to see. This year we helped children in India as well as America. To do all of this it takes many hours of work and good people to work with on both sides of the world.  It makes me very proud to see so many people call me and want to help Children are Angels From Heaven in one way or another.

 

            It has been a long road for all of us but we now are Non- Profit and all donations are tax deductible. We also have a web site childrenareangels.org so people all over the world can see our work.

            I would like to say Thank You to all of you for your continued support and hard work. I am hopeful that we can continue to work together and help many more children in the future. My next trip will be in Nov 2003.  If anyone has any questions feel free to call me at 781-483-1002.

 

Check out our web site!

Childrenareangels.org

Board of Directors

 

Raymond C O’Brien

President and founder

Patricia A O’Brien

Treasurer

Jean Marie Gaunt

Secretary

Jean Donaghey

Function Director

Cathy Dekow

Web Master

 

Joanne Coburn

Daniel Tavanese

Rita Cornelio

Cathi Duffy

Ronald DeFronzo

Gary Olson

Directors

 

 

School Desks For Kentucky and New Hampshire

 

            In June of 2002, Mr. Brown of St. Joseph’s School in Medford and Mr. Mahoney of Medford Vocational High School donated used school desks to Children are Angels from Heaven, with the agreement that we would find a home for the desks and that nothing would be sold. Between both schools, Angels was given about 200 desks.  All the desks were picked up at the two local schools and put in our Angels storage trailer. It did not take long and we found two places that needed school desks both of them in America.  First: Save the Children, a non-profit org. in Berea Kentucky. They needed the desks for after school programs in 16 centers in eastern Kentucky and Northern Tennessee.  Second: The Christian Faith Academy in Belmont, NH. They needed the desks for an addition they are going to add to their school this spring.

 

     Mr. Jim Zeiner & Mike Deacetis of Ryder Truck Rental donated a truck to deliver all the desks.

 

              

 

Full Load of Desks

 

            I drove to Berea, Kentucky on my summer vacation in July 2002 to deliver a full load of good used desks for the Kentucky children along with boxes of clothes and toys. It was 2,100 miles round trip to Kentucky.

 

            In September of 2002, I again loaded a Ryder Rental Truck with the remaining school desks. This time I was off for a much shorter drive to Belmont, New Hampshire to the Faith Christian Academy where we delivered 60 good used desks for the children.

 

 

            All in all everything worked out great. Many children now had the used school desks from St Josephs and Medford Vocational School. I would like to say Thank You to the people who gave their time and energy to pick up the used desks from the schools and also to sort and reload everything for each of our delivery trips. This was very heavy backbreaking work.

 

 

 

Thanks again to:  Warren Smith, Richy Torpey, Gary Olson, Kyle Olson, Jean Donaghey, Steve Powers, John Rogers, Johnny Rogers, Bill Gaunt, and Ronnie DeFronzo.

 

 

School Desks for

Calcutta India

 

            During my trips to Calcutta, India, I visit many places, many of them poor schools. In 2001, I was asked if I would be able to help two schools with needed equipment. What the schools needed were school desks for the children. The Adarsha Hindi Vidyalaya School had desks but they were worn out. At the Primary school in Barasat, there was no school furniture and the children sat on the floor.

 

 

            I came home in 2001 and did my best to raise funds to help these schools. At first I was going to ship the Medford Vocational and St. Josephs school desks to the children, but with a shipping cost of $2,000, I felt that we could better spend our hard earned donation money in a better way, rather than on shipping costs. So, with the help of my friend Bernard Maung and the Don Bosco Ashalayam a Vocational school in Howrah, I was able to contract with the school to build the needed desks for the two poor schools.    

 

            Don Bosco is a Vocational School that helps street children learns a trade so this project would be perfect.  The Street children at Don Bosco would learn how to make the desks and chairs in the trade school and when everything is finished it would be taken to the two poor schools for those children.

 

 

  

            Children are Angels from Heaven spent over $4,000 in donated money to have many tables, benches and chairs made at Don Bosco Ashalayam for each poor school. This was a very big order. I am very happy to say at this time the project has been completed and the children are now sitting and learning on the school furniture we had made for them.  For children to learn they need the proper tools to learn with.  I consider a desk and a chair to be very basic. So in all it was WIN, WIN, WIN for children.

 

 

The two poor schools now have desks and chairs and the Don Bosco boys learned the skills to make everything. To make things sweeter we saved $2,000 in shipping cost and helped children in Kentucky and New Hampshire by bringing needed desks to them.

 

While in Calcutta

 

Some of the places that I visited:

 

Society of Indian Children’s Welfare

International Mission of hope (IMH)

Missionaries of Charity

Lorreto Day School Sealdah

St .Vincent’s Home

St. Paul’s School

Salvation Army Girls School

Don Bosco Ashalayam

Adarsha Hindi Vidyalaya School

St. Teresa’s School

Vivekamanda Welfare & Dev. Society

 

 

This year I would like to dedicate this newsletter to

“Angels” who have been called back to Heaven:

 

Steve Squires

Edward Powers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daytona 500 Raffle results

 

For the 2003 Race

 

The total number of tickets that were sold was 925 with a profit of $4,022.50.   The Winners were as follows:

 

1st Place

Diane Rattray

 

Two tickets to the Daytona 500 and the Live Well 300

Diane Rattray, Sandown, NH

 

2nd Place

A Fri & Sat night at the Wyndham Hotel in Waltham

Perry Kurz, Campton, NH

 

3rd Place

One midweek night at the Eastern Inn North Conway

Eric Anderson, Gloucester MA

 

4th Place

One weekend at the Woburn Marriott

Marion Jones, Jacksonville, FL

 

5th Place

Four passes to the Showcase Cinema

Jim Goodspeed, Campton, NH.

 

            It is directly because of events like this that Children are Angels From Heaven is able to do many things for the children. I must tell all of you that although many people did want to win, many people just wanted to buy a ticket and be a part of the raffle to help support Children are Angels from Heaven.  I would like to say thank you to all of you for your help and support. We could not have done all of this without your help.  I also would like to say Thanks to all the people who sold Raffle Tickets:  Warren Dickerman, Jim McGinnis, Charlie Franklin, Rick Wedge, Kim & Allen Wells, Gary Olson, Joe Bruno, Linda Schenk, Dave Fick, Richy Torpey, Bill & Jeanne Gaunt, Danny Tavanese, Rita Cornelio, Ronnie DeFronzo, Cathi Duffy, Cathy & Gary Dekow, John Hickey, Ed Knust, Jim Virnelli, Chris Hepler, Dave Pearl, Dave Morse, Jean Donaghey, Drake Danials, Joe Sabia, Allen Sampson, John & Anne Kako, Joan Milasich, George Mengel, John & Kenny MacKenzie, Lloyd Wentzell, Steve Dickerman, Wendy DeVoy, Art Morse, Russ Gittlen, Tony Corsetti

 

Non-profit Status

 

            We are now tax deductible and a legal non-profit organization. I worked very hard to get us to this point in time. Our Internal Revenue Foundation Status Classification is 509(a) (1) until June 2005. All of it was expensive and a learning experience.  I was making mistakes such as not having a credit card with the business name on it and also taking in a few donations with the name Ray O’Brien payable on the check and even not having a checking account. Mr. Robert Johnston a C.P.A. of 444 Washington St Brighton Ma has really worked hard with me to correct things. Rob has charged me very little to do this.  Now everything is charged with an Angels’ credit card or paid with a Children are Angels from Heaven check out of the company checking account. All checks that are given for donations are made out to Children are Angels from Heaven.  I always said I would be accountable and responsible for all the money donated to Angels. I still am and can account for everything.  I just needed to fine tune things and do things the proper way that the United States government requires it to be done. Children are Angels is now a business. The part that makes us different is we do not make a profit.  We have no payroll of any kind. Volunteers do all the work.  When I travel to India or elsewhere I pay all of my personal expenses out of my pocket including airfare. If you are interested in making a donation remember all checks are to be made out to Children are Angels From Heaven. If you have any questions on how things are done feel free to call me anytime 781-483-1002

 

Newsletter Printing and Mailing

 

            It costs about $1.75 each to have the Newsletter printed and mailed to your home. I have no problem spending the money to send it to all of you, but I also do not want to waste money if you are not interested in getting it.  Please let me know and I will take you off my mailing list. For all of you who do get it and read it I ask you to pass it on to someone that you know who might like reading it. Any questions or extra copies please call me 781-483-1002. Or write me Ray O’Brien 16 Bower St Medford Ma 02155. 

 

International Mission of Hope

 

            My visit to IMH was again very sad. There were only a handful of children there, as IMH was in the process of closing its doors. IMH was my children’s first home and I will be forever grateful to the staff for taking care of them and all the other children that passed through its doors. On this visit as always the Massies were very happy to see me.  I was also happy to see them.  As I have written many times, I learned more about life when visiting IMH than any other place in the world. Many times I watched with my own eyes how the staff worked so hard to save a babies life when the child came into the orphanage sick or very small.  Some of the things I have seen to this day I do not understand.  Much of it was very sad.  The average weight of a newborn at IMH is three pounds.  Many other babies are smaller than that. On this trip, the only children that were at IMH were the handicapped children.  I had visited every one of these children many times before. If you are handicapped your chance for adoption becomes very limited. That is why I still see many of the same children year after year. Many of these children had minor problems and would do very well if they were adopted and had a family who was willing to work with them and love them.

 

 

I will miss IMH when it is finally gone. I will still go to that building at Two Namak Mahal Rd on each visit I make to Calcutta if only to say a prayer for all the children and staff who were once there. I would like to say Thank You to all of the staff for your kindness and love to all the children over the years. I will never forget you.

 

“Children are”… Angels From Heaven

 

Society of Indian Children’s Welfare

 

            SICW is an orphanage located near the Beckbagan Market. This orphanage is special to me because it was once home to my oldest girl. During my visit I was very happy to meet Mrs. Shirin Dastur and Mrs. Swaran Chaudhry again.  Both of these women along with the SICW staff work very hard to help poor children. Besides running an orphanage, SICW is involved in many other programs to help poor children and people, such as life saving heart operations for poor children.   life saving heart operation costs 80,000Rs to 1,200,000 Rs, which is about $3,000 in US funds. I am hopeful that in the future Children are Angels from Heaven can help one of these poor children through SICW with a needed heart operation. SICW is always a very busy place, so my time with the Shirin and Swaran was short. When I was leaving, I stopped on the first floor and asked to visit some of the children. Mrs. Prabha Katyal invited me into the room. We sat on a bench and had a nice talk. I believe she was a social worker. I had a few toys to give to the children. As I did one little girl really caught my eye. A little girl about 2 yrs old, she was so cute. I watched her for a while smile and laugh as the massie fed her. Before I had left Boston for this trip I was given a very special gift, by a 4th grader at St Raphael School named Courtney Anderson. After I had done a slide show of my India trips at her school Courtney and her Mom brought two of her stuffed animals to my home to bring with me to give to a special child in Calcutta. To make a long story short, I knew that this little girl was the special child for Courtney’s gifts. I did not know it at the time but the child was completely blind. I put the soft velvet stuffed animals near her hand. She just reached out and grabbed them bringing them to her face with a very BIG smile. This little girl was so happy!

 

 

It brought tears to my eyes to see her smile. I am sorry I did not get the girls name. When I returned back home to America I told Courtney the story and gave her some photos. She too had a big smile! So as you can see anything can happen when you visit an orphanage or a school. In this case a young girl from another country far away reached out to help another young girl.  It was beautiful! 

  

Bethany Sisters

 

            One story I did not have room to tell about in my last newsletter was putting up a Christmas tree and having lunch with the Bethany Sisters. I met the Sisters on a village trip a few years ago. Ever since then I always stop by the convent and say hello to everyone. During my trips to Calcutta I bring as much as I can with me. Most of the time I have 2 or 3 small Christmas trees with me.  In 2001, I brought Sister Selina a small Christmas tree to put in the convent. When I was unpacking my donations I noticed that I did not have the tree stand for the Christmas tree. I did not know what to do. I had everything else. My Indian Mum told me to call Sister and tell her the story and she would think of something to solve the problem. I did just that and Sister said don’t worry it will be ok, bring everything with you when you visit us. I went to the convent and met all the Sisters. Sister had one of the Novice Sisters get a plant pot and put dirt in it.  The sisters then put my tree in the pot and decorated it, putting a beautiful cloth around the bottom. I did not know where the Sisters would put the Christmas tree.  o my surprise the Sisters put it in the chapel. It really looked beautiful when the Sisters finished decorating it.

 

 

After a few prayers with the Sisters, they invited me to have lunch with them. I did not know what to say! I had never had much Indian food before and I did not have my Indian Mum with me to look after me. When I entered the dining room I saw a very long table with about 20 chairs and lots of food on the table. Sister Selina sat me at the head of the table and all the Sisters filled in all the other chairs around the table.

 

Lunch with the Sisters

 

To this day I still smile when I think about it. I do not have any idea what it was that I ate but it was pretty good. The Sisters made sure nothing was too spicy hot for me, and that I was ok. It was a fun time for everyone. The Bethany Novice Sisters work in and around Calcutta as part of their training to become Nuns.   

 

The Salvation Army Behala

 

            I have visited this home for girls many times before. It is always a fun visit. I bring a few tennis balls or Frisbees with me and play with all the children. There are always over 100 girls at this home. I can tell you every single child is happy. Captain Nyak is the officer in charge of the children and of the home. Asha Sarker is his right hand person who looks after the girls. I met Tumpa again this year and got a first hand look at her eyes. She is the girl that Angels from Heaven paid for an eye operation because her eye was crossed.  I have to tell all of you her eyes look great!  I was told by the Salvation Army Staff that because of Tumpa’s now near normal appearance she is doing great in school and her life is now very happy and beautiful.

 

Tumpa

 

Together Angels from Heaven and The Salvation Army in Behala helped this little girl and asked nothing in return except a beautiful smile from a pretty girl. I have to tell you it was not an easy thing to do.  So, as you can see, good things can get done to help children when people work together. During my visit in 2002, I noticed that the large swing set in the middle of the yard was broken and unsafe. I talked to Captain Nyak about Children are Angels from Heaven having it repaired. He was in agreement with all of my requests, to have it repaired and also take photos and write me a letter to explain in detail the repairs needed and also the costs involved. I look forward to seeing the kids back on the swings on my Nov. 2003 visit. During my trips to help children I have found The Salvation Army to be a great organization to work with. They will go out of their way to help you and never ask anything in return.  Never be held back to give the Salvation Army a donation, as your money will always work hard for you.

 

Missionaries of Charity

 

            One of the first places that I always visit in Calcutta is the Mother House of the Missionaries of Charity. This is the place that Mother Teresa did much of her work from.  I met Mother Teresa in 1996 we sat and had a nice talk. To this day I remember every word of our conversation. I can’t explain it, but after Mother held my hand and talked to me it changed my life.

 

 

            During this past visit I met Sister Terese Marie she is one of the Sisters who brought me to Mother Teresa’s children’s center Shishu Bhavan a few years ago. That too was a visit I will always remember.  It was nice to see her and talk to her for a few minutes. Sister asked if I wanted to visit Mothers Tomb, located within the Mother House just below the Chapel and say a few prayers. I was very happy to do so. Mother Teresa was a very special person, she always took care of everyone. Sometimes during one of my visits to a poor area of Calcutta I get afraid.  I am an American in a world that I do not know or understand. As I walk into this poor area I always try to look for Mothers footsteps and try to follow them, as to guide me and keep me safe and to help children.  I am proud of the Missionaries of Charity and the work that they do not just in Calcutta but also all over the world.

 

All works of love are works of peace…

 

   Loreto School Sealdah

 

            On each visit to Calcutta I visit Sister Cyril and the Loreto School. This is a very big school with many things always going on. This year it happened to be exhibition day on my visit. Tereasa took me along with my Indian Mum to every classroom to see the children’s work. It was excellent.  I take my hat off to Sister Cyril and her staff.  This school has 1400 students. That is in the regular school. Sister has many other programs up and running, such as the Rainbow program for street children, the Village school program where her regular students from the school go to villages outside of Calcutta to teach other children or the Barefoot teacher training program, for village schools.  Sister Cyril is a remarkable person she has touched the lives of thousands of people including me.

Sister Cyril

 

I am very happy to give Sister donations from Angels from Heaven to do things with for the children. Anything she does will always get my stamp of approval, as I know in my heart everything she does is for the good of the children. If anyone of you ever visit Calcutta and  would like to visit Sister but don’t know where her school is located, just ask anybody in Calcutta Where can I find Sister Cyril of the Loreto School Sealdah… Every person in Calcutta knows of Sister Cyril and the Loreto School Sealdah.

 

Village Work is not about a bus full of girls in uniform it’s about several kids waiting eagerly for there arrival…..

 

Don Bosco Ashalayam

 

            Don Bosco Ashalayam is located in Howrah ,West Bengal. This is the vocational school that made the school desks for Barasat village school and also the Hindi school. Most of the children have been street children and have had no formal education. Many had lived in Railroad stations or in the streets. In this school the children learn a trade such as carpentry, welding or bakery.  The students also learn how to make cards and paint beautiful photos on Pipul leafs.  Fr..Matthew is the director of this wonderful school and home. My friend Mr. Bernard Maung gave me, along with my Indian Mum a tour of the building and grounds. We visited each shop and saw the boys at work learning their craft. Many were making the desks that Angels from Heaven ordered. We also visited Childline, a phone outreach service for children in crisis (100 calls a day) as well the living quarters for the boys.  I had the opportunity to talk with many of the boys. All of them were very happy to be a part of Don Bosco.  Mum and myself were also taken to 5 other homes in the area run by Don Bosco, 4 of them boys’ homes and 1 a girls home run by Sisters. It was truly a highlight of my trip to India to visit all of these children and to see the work done by the Don Bosco Staff. Because of the curriculum of this school and the help that they gave me to make all the desks for the 2 other schools and their students, I wanted to try and do something for Don Bosco Ashalayam. I talked with my friend Bernard Maung and my Indian Mum Ramona (Dolly) Xavier about how we could help as many children as best I could with limited funds.

 

Ramona & Bernard

 

I thought a commercial table saw might be a good addition to the school, but Bernard told me that many of the children do not have the skills to run a saw and it could be dangerous so he suggested that I contribute to make a new work shed for the boys to work and learn in, as now many of them work outside. He said that we have more boys than building. I asked to see the plans and the cost involved. This shed is much needed but a big project. I am proud to tell you that because of your generosity Children are Angels from Heaven will pay 100% of all costs involved in the construction of the shed. It will be 18 x 65 and will be finished by my next visit in late 2003.

 

Please look at Current Events on the web site (childrenareangels.org) to see a material list and costs involved. I look forward to seeing the finished project later this year.

 

St Teresa’s School

 

            My visit to St Teresa’s is always interesting. It’s a very big school with lots going on all the time. Looking at it from the outside, it would look like any other American school. This year with permission from the principle, Sister Margaret, I visited many classrooms that were in session including the pre school children.  The children are always polite and friendly to me. When I enter a classroom the children always stand up and say “Good Morning Sir.”  When I visit the older children, they always ask about America and ask what it is like? I tell them about my homeland the best I know how, in return I ask the children to teach me a little about India.  So, its fun for them as well as myself to learn about the places we both call home. 

 

            During my visit I had tea with Sister Teresa Ann and then I visited the pre school children along with the staff. I brought the children Balls, Jacobs Ladders (wooden toys) along with some candy. The small children sang me a few Christmas songs they were so cute. It was just a very nice visit to this school.

 

            When my visit was over and I was leaving I noticed a student sitting at a desk reading our last newsletter “Children are Angels from Heaven” I just smiled when I walked by.

 

            The prayer below is recited before each class begins:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer before Class

 

O my God

Teach me to love you with all my heart

Help me never to displease you by any wicked thing.

Strengthen my weakness.

Help me think the right things.

To speak the right things.

So that I may be a help to my friends and to all the other boys and girls around me.

Bless me with knowledge and understanding.

Bless my country,

My parents,

Brothers and Sisters,

And all who do good to me.

Grant that one day we all may come safely home to heaven.

Amen.

 

 

St Paul’s School

 Be a light

 

            I had the pleasure of watching the St Paul’s children during their Christmas Play rehearsal. It takes 2 months to get ready for the final show.  There were 100 children on the stage and 75 children watching from the floor.

 

 

It was very interesting to watch. The children sang many Christmas songs. The school has 1200 children in all. I met Sister Philomina, the principal and had a nice talk with her. I gave Sister a donated walkman radio to give to the most improved student at the school along with a few other donated things for the children. During my visit, I got to see many of the children I know in Calcutta one who is special to me a little girl named Priska.  I remembered it was her birthday and gave her a big hug and some candy. St. Paul’s School is divided into 4 teams within the school all named after leaders of the past. The names are Blue – Kennedy  Red - Gandhi Green -Churchill Yellow – Tagore. All of the children were happy to see me during my visit.

 

 

Education never stops

 

The art of education is to continue

To grow as long as you live.

Every moment brings its lesson.

Every person is a teacher.

Grow in all directions

Develop a desire for Godness

An eagerness for knowledge

A capacity for friendship

An appreciation for beauty

A concern for others

Grow….

Learning continues forever

Education never stops!!!

 

 

Saint Vincent’s Home

 

            Everyone at St. Vincent’s was happy to see me, and I too was happy to see them. This year’s visit was great, for one main reason, Sister Teresa Anthony told me all the children did well in school this year. This was a first…and it made Sister and me very happy.  As a yearly tradition we set up and decorated the donated Christmas tree given to the home a few years ago by Angels from Heaven. It was great!

 

 

This year the older girls worked in the kitchen all afternoon cooking, to make something special to eat later in the evening. 

 

 

We danced to music played on the Boom Box I bought for the children a few years ago. It was really a good time for everyone. For dinner I was able to order a special treat Chinese food for 50 children. We also ate the food that the girls made in the afternoon.  This was a day I will always remember. Everyone had a nice time and hated to say good-bye when it came to an end.

 
Samita

 

      During my last few visits to IMH I have told you about a little girl named Samita. She is the little girl with the C/P and a cleft lip.

 

 

I have tried everything in my power to help this child with not good results. The main problem is, IMH is closing and nobody can tell me where this girl will go. We could never have her C/P fixed as it is not fixable but her lip can be repaired with a small operation. I do have a few people in Calcutta who are willing to help me and I will not give up on helping her.  Money is not the problem it is a custody problem. It is very sad, but trying to do some things in Calcutta are next to impossible. I did see Samita on my last trip. She is alive and in the same condition as last year only a little bigger. She would lie on the bed and just look at me with those big eyes. I did hold her in my arms and hugged her.  I watched the Massie feed Samita by wrapping a towel around her face to cover up the hole in her lip and then put the food in her mouth. It was very sad to see. I give all of you my word I will continue to try to help this child as there is no crime for being born…

 

St Raphael School, Medford, MA USA

 

                In Oct. of 2002, I had the honor of being invited by Mrs. Travers & Mrs. Murray both teachers of the 4th grade, to show my slides of Calcutta India to the children of their classes. The children enjoyed seeing my photos and had many questions for me. I tried to show the children that the world is not the same. It worked out very well.  I am sure that the children still think about my photos.

 

www.childrenareangels.org

 

 

 

            In November, just before my trip to Calcutta the school organized a UFO (Uniform Free Day) in which the children raised money. The money raised was given to me for Children are Angels from Heaven, to be spent on the poor children of Calcutta. I was given an envelope from each classroom with the total amount being $819. I cant tell you how proud I am of those children and that school. More than raising a large amount of money, the children of St. Raphaels remembered that there are children in the world that are poor and they reached out to help them through my trip.  I will forever be grateful to the staff and children for their kindness and support. The best part, children on both sides of the world now benefit from my trips. I will report back to everyone what was done with the $819 collected by the children in my next newsletter for 2003 or check in at our web site  (childrenareangels.org) under current events.

 

IAM Local #447

 

The Machinist Union has always been supportive of my trips to Calcutta so much so that Mr. Russ Gittlen Business Agent invited me to show my slides at the union hall. The members enjoyed the show and bought many raffle tickets to help the children. Thank you for your help and continued support.

 

Storage Trailer

 

 Because Children are Angels from Heaven is now legally a Non-profit organization and has all the proper documents and numbers, many companies have stepped forward to help us. Xpedx Paper Company of Wilmington Ma is one of them. When I was given all the school desks from St. Jospeph School of Medford and also Medford Vocational School I had no place to store them.  Xpedx paper company was in the process of selling some of their used pup 28 foot trailers.  I offered to purchase one of the trailers to put the desks in for storage.  Jim Iantosca of Xpedx, a manager overheard me and said if I could give him copies of our Non-Profit paperwork to review he was willing to donate a trailer to Angels from Heaven.  He did request one stipulation that if the trailer is ever sold, all of the money will go to the poor children.  Jim not only donated the trailer to Children are Angels from Heaven he also lets us keep it parked on his lot.  Mr. Jim Oteri from the graphics dept of Ryder Truck Rental supplied decals for both sides of the trailer. Mr. Bob Barelle of Truck Connection repaired the rear door and did a few minor repairs to the trailer.

 

 

So far our trailer has worked out great. First all the desks were in it, all dry and safe. Now it is loaded with beautiful used clothes and balls all ready for shipment to poor children. I would like to say Thank You to Jim Iantosca and Xpedx Paper Company, a division of International Paper, Ryder Truck Rental, and The Truck Connection for their kindness to help us help the children of the world, in a better and bigger way.

 

Do it Now….

I expect to pass through this world but once, any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness I can show to any fellow human being, let me do it now.  For I shall not pass this way again…

Free Printing

 

            Last year Town and Country Reprographics Inc. 230 North Main St Concord NH  Donated to Angels From Heaven the entire cost of printing our Newsletter with no cost to Angels from Heaven. I was really taken back by the generosity of Bunny & Victor Stoykovich and the hard work of Graydon Biss.  Because of their kindness and hard work I was able to help more poor children in Calcutta. Everything worked out perfect. I received many complements at how professional our newsletter looked. Thank You Town and Country for stepping forward to help our small charity.

 
Bottle and Can Deposits

 

            In Massachusetts we have a bottle bill where each can or bottle is charged 5 cents for a deposit. When the bottle or can is empty you return it and collect your 5 cents. Well let me tell you a short story about the employees at Xpedx Paper Company in Wilmington, MA. Besides buying raffle tickets or taking part in EVERYTHING that is done for the poor children, all of the employees save their empty cans at home and work and put them in a special barrel for the poor kids in India at the Xpedx warehouse. Mr. Gary Olson or I sort everything out and drive it to the redemption store to turn in the cans and collect the money. The workers and their families do this 365 days a year, day in and day out. When I am out in the yard fixing the trucks and see workers arriving for work with their lunch pail and a bag of empty cans or plastic bottles, it tells a very big story of how they want to help poor children.

 

Greg Chilingarian

 

            So far in total we have collected over $400 from can deposit money from the Xpedx workers efforts. This program is all voluntary. I am truly amazed at how sincere my co-workers are at Xpedx to help the children. $400 dollars is about 20,000 Rupees, that’s a lot of money in India and it allows me to get things done for the children. The part I like best is we collect donation money without any one person digging to deep in their pocket to help the children. It reminds me of what Mother Teresa once said… Do small things and get big results.

 

Thank You Xpedx workers for your effort. It is greatly appreciated.

 

 

Empty Can Tabs

 

            As you can see many people help the poor children by saving their deposit cans and giving them to Angels from Heaven. There is also another way that money can be had from the same deposit cans, by collecting the Tabs at the top of the can. They are made of solid Aluminum. Sharon LaHaise and her class “Make Way for Kids” at Medford High School along with Mr. Ron Kenney of Malden go above and beyond the call of helping children by collecting the Tabs. Angels from Heaven has been given many bags of Tabs from Sharon & Ron. It is not an easy task collecting the Tabs. For a full days work all you might get is a small plastic bag of Tabs. Angels from Heaven turns the Tabs over to Mr. Lloyd Wentzell who is a member of the Shriners organization. The Shriners help many children at the Shriners Hospitals free of charge. They have been saving Tabs since 1990 and up to Dec 2002 they have collected 54,483 pounds of tabs. All the money collected from the Tabs is used at the Shriners Hospitals for children, to buy anything from wheelchairs to children’s toys. The Shriners have two hospitals in Massachusetts Boston & Springfield with many other hospitals in the United States.  So as you can see soda & beer deposit cans & bottles can do many things to help many children.

 

If there is another company or person that would like to donate soda & beer cans or Tabs to help the children, call me and I will be more than happy to set something up.  Ray O’Brien 781-483-1002.

 

Cards & Letters

 

            Each year I receive many beautiful letters and cards from many people who support Children are Angels from Heaven. It really brings a smile to my face every time I read one of these letters or cards.  I would like you to read a few of these letters.  All of them were from children and their families. I think it would be best to have you read them word for word without me changing anything and see how beautiful they are.

 

First Letter:

 

Hi Ray,

 

Just a note to wish you a Happy New Year. I have read the letters you have sent Richie. Your work has been just heartwarming. Your reward will be in Heaven. On Christmas our family had a little basket out for your endeavors. You would get a kick if you knew my grandson,(he is only 12 years old),and my 10 year old granddaughter, gave five and six dollars. This was there Christmas money. I was so proud. They are not rich kids! They live in Maine and were here over the holidays. I had told them your work and they were impressed. All the other relatives were interested too. Enclosed is what they want you to put to good use. Wish it had a few more zeroes.

 

God Bless Anne and Fred

 

 

 

 

 

 

Second Letter:

 

Dear Ray,

 

This is a donation from our family, me and Rich, Daniel, and Anna.  We all put money in a box each week before the Sabbath around one time of the Jewish Holy Days in the fall, we decided where the years money should go. Your newsletter came just around this time, and we picked your group of course it has special meaning for us since Daniel came from IMH. He always wants the money to go to the poor. We are very sorry to hear about IMH . I cried when I read your story. On the bright side, we are impressed with all the work you do in bringing the plight of poor children in Calcutta to the attention of others. Please use our small donation for any project that needs it.

 

Thank you for all that you do.

 

Debbie

 

One More Letter:

 

Dear Mr. O’Brien,

 

Thank You very much for coming to the 4th grade and telling all the children about India. Jennifer cant stop talking about the life you lead and the conditions of India. She is still telling us stories .Your touched her heart.

 

Thank You,

Lisa and Larry

 

E-Mail List

 

            If anyone is interested in getting on the Angels from Heaven e-mail list please let me know.  Many things happen all year with Angels from Heaven. I do my best to let everyone know what’s going on all year not just in the yearly newsletter.  If you are interested all I have to do is give me your e-mail address. You can call me anytime 781-483-1002 

 

Adopted People

 

Did you know these people were adopted?

 

  1. Gerald Ford           President
  2. Faith Hill                 Singer
  3. Scott Hamilton    Figure Skater

 

 

Ads In our newsletter & Web page

 

            Beginning next year, I hope to install a flat rate pay scale for our ads in the newsletter and web site. The newsletter and website must stand on its own legs and pay for itself.  Any extra money taken in will go into the Angels from Heaven bank account (general fund) to be used for children’s projects. Hopefully, for a small Ad it will cost $25 per year. The cost will be tax deductible so its not such a bad deal. This new fixed cost will cover your ad in the newsletter and on the web site all year. This is all a little in the air, but if you now have an Ad in our newsletter or on our web page please expect things to change. Please help us as we need your continued support. I will take as many ads as I can.  Anyone interested in a new ad or anyone with questions please call me 781-483-1002.

 

Look at our web site.

 

www.Childrenareangels.org

 

Your Ad would look great and it would help us grow to help more children.

 

 


In Closing

 

            Last year, 2002, was a very busy year for Children are Angels from Heaven. When history is written I think it will be called the year of the school desks.  I worked as hard as I could to see to it that money was not wasted and that many desks went to children in need in Calcutta and America. It was not easy to do.  But it is now done and we have moved forward with other ideas and projects. One of the biggest projects I am working on now, is having a large building addition added to a Vocational School building at Don Bosco in Howrah.  It will be 18 X 65 feet.  It will be called a work shed. This is a very big undertaking. The children now work outside with no building so it is really needed.  I could not do this without Mr. Bernard Maung or my Indian Mum Ramona Xavier and all of you. Over the years I have taken on many different small projects to help poor children all of them were a lot of work and worry but somehow with the grace of God everything has worked out.  As I have said many times, it’s the people who support Angels from Heaven who get the work done for the poor children. Not me!  Many times because of problems trying to get things done for the children or lack of money, I feel I am up against a wall and have no idea what I’m going to do, but with God always looking over my shoulder and guiding me a door always opens at the wall and I pass through to get the needed project completed. I also feel over the years Angels has grown and done bigger projects for poor children, which makes it even harder to do.  I honestly can tell you, I do not know where we are going to end up but I love helping the children and I also love seeing everyone come forward to help them. It’s a two way street and I get to see all of it.  It’s quite an experience to see love and kindness on both sides of the world from many people who will never meet each other, but are united to help poor children.  So if you read between the lines there is more to all of this than just helping children. It’s a network of wonderful people reaching out to help.

 

            I look forward to my November 2003 trip to see the work that has been completed and also look at other work that is needed for the children and, as always, to see my friends and my Indian Family in Calcutta. I will end now except to ask all of you to please say a special Prayer for my little friend Samita (the young girl with C/P and cleft lip), that I may be able to find her and help her in the year ahead. Thank you for your continued love and support.

 

God Bless all of you  

                                                             Raymond C O’Brien