Bulgarian Christmas Charity Raises BGN 2 M
Bulgaria’s President Rosen Plevneliev is pictured here at the launch of the charity initiative at Sveta Sofia clinic on December 4, 2012. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency
The 'Bulgarian Christmas' charity, which was launched for the tenth time and with boosted expectations by President Rosen Plevneliev at the beginning of December, has collected BGN 2 045 763 so far.
The charity collects funds each year to pay for the treatment of sick children abroad and for purchasing medical equipment for children hospitals and clinics.
For the first time this year the campaign is focusing primarily on children with neurological diseases. The choice was made after it emerged that most of the applications submitted for 2011 were related to the treatment of children with such problems.
BGN 1 077 139 have been donated through bank transfers, while BGN 968 624 came via short text messages, SMS. The largest single donation is in the amount of BGN 50 000.
The total amount is the highest since 2008, when the economic crisis began in Bulgaria.
Short text messages and phone calls to number 1117 for all three mobile operators in Bulgaria at the cost of EUR 0.5 are being accepted until January 31.
After that donations can be made only to the bank accounts opened for the initiative all through the year.
There are currently 332 applications for assistance for sick children with 253 (76%) of them for rehabilitation, 58 – for costly medications, 6 – for treatment abroad, and 15 – for medical consumables.
The applications will be examined in February and March, while medical equipment for children hospitals will be purchased through public tenders by the end of June.
Plevneliev has published an open thank you letter to all who donated money.
The Health Ministry informs that at its first meeting for 2013, the Public Council at the Children Treatment Fund has approved 39 applications. Four children will be treated abroad for the first time; 8 will travel abroad to continue treatment; 26 will be treated in Bulgaria and 1 child will receive material assistance to pay for medical care.
The total amount of funds for the above applications is over BGN 566 405.95.
In 2012, the Fund has financed the treatment of a total of 715 for over BGN 10 M.
The sum of BGN 1.3 M was raised by the latest charity initiative "The Bulgarian Christmas" still held under the patronage of previous President Georgi Parvanov.
The campaign was launched by former President Parvanov in 2002 with a view to raise money for the treatment of seriously ill Bulgarian children and to buy medical equipment for children's hospitals and clinics.
Parvanov, who has been the charity's patron throughout the years, has attributed the success of the Bulgarian Christmas to its transparency, honesty and noble cause.
The first eight editions of the 'Bulgarian Christmas' raised over BGN 18.1 M, which enabled the medical treatment of 1066 children, while 139 pediatric hospitals and clinics have received ambulances and medical equipment.
President Plevneliev has vowed to keep alive the initiative, which Parvanov has described as one of the biggest achievements he would leave to his successor.
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