New Patron, New Hopes as Bulgarian Christmas Charity Campaign Kicks off
The 'Bulgarian Christmas' charity, which was set up by former President Georgi Parvanov in 2002 to give sick children a hope, was launched for the tenth time and with boosted expectations by his successor Rosen Plevneliev.
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 will focus 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.
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.
Compared to previous years, the initiative was not a whooping success, as the amount was about two million levs below the record-high revenues fetched in 2007 and 2008.
The sum however came close to the one collected in 2011, when despite the economic downturn, Bulgarians donated BGN 1.24 M.
Similarly to previous years, a Christmas concert will mark the culmination of the initiative. Short text messages and phone calls to number 1117 for all three mobile operators in Bulgaria at the cost of EUR 0.5, as well as donations made to the bank account opened for the initiative will contribute to the amount collected.
The phone lines will be left active until January 2. After that donations can be made only to the bank accounts opened for the initiative.
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.
Incumbent President Rosen Plevneliev has vowed to keep alive the initiative, which Parvanov famously described as one of the biggest achievements he would leave to his successor.
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