When you donate you feel like you do something. You can find excuses all the time- you don’t have time, you don’t know whom to donate to, you don’t know how much- but you can actually do something anytime. I think it’s a decision to help others, to do something for others but you.

In ’89, during the Revolution I was living at the countryside, in a commune from Teleorman County where my father was a priest. When we saw what was happening, we organized ourselves, together with the people from the community and the second day we got a car filled with clothes, food and other things, and sent it to Bucharest. I remember that it was a nice feeling: let’s do something, let’s gather, let’s give what we can!

I think the fact that my father was a priest helped a little. He gets involved a lot in the community, he easily empathizes with people and they always come to him. Even now, in Bucharest, they have a rural community behavior. This habit of giving is a common thing in my family. For example, my grandmother didn’t cook just for us; she used to give one or two meals to the people who didn’t have something to eat.

I did many things in high school. There were a lot of floods back then and I gathered clothes for the victims. More classes used to get involved, we donated clothes and sent them to schools from the damaged areas. I think I donated in money for the first time when I was in college, at an educational fair, for an NGO.

At the moment, I donate pretty much for health and lately in the community development area. I grew up in the countryside and I saw what I can do with a little bit of initiative and some skillful hands. Although I left, I still keep in touch with the place I used to live, I continue to have very good friends there. Now, every time I go there, I get depressed. It is true that I no longer see through the eyes of a child, but everything there makes me sad. It’s not a rich commune anymore and a lot of people already left abroad. Our friends stayed and they continue to work there, but it is in vain, it’s obvious that they miss something. I can’t tell if they need a little bit of help from the authorities or they need a microfinance to begin something, because you can’t do something from nothing, no matter how hard you work. Your heart breaks when you know how the place was before and now you see the changes.

I’ve known PACT Foundation since 2013; there are many people who came or left in this period of time, but the spirit hasn’t decreased, the bonds are even tighter.

I am close to PACT because I see how things are developing. The result is visible and I find it extraordinary that such a small organization does the same things as big organizations, that usually obtain funds easier.

Last time I was in one of the communities I support through PACT Foundation, at Valea Corbului in Argeș County, I was thinking that if I wasn’t there, I wouldn’t be involved. I felt that I had also contributed for the organization of that project where people discussed in a forum theatre play about subjects that were so important to them. We, in our box, don’t even know that these kinds of subjects exist or we find out about them only on television (children who get married at 13-14 years old, teachers who don’t allow pupils to take the BAC exam etc.). I felt that my gesture matters. I would love to take more time for this because I feel like I could do more.

I really feel the difference when I donate and get involved in something. It’s different if I know the people who beneficiate from my help and also do something for them. I think the effect would be larger if I would involve more, not just money. It’s true that money is important, because without it we can do nothing, but the trust part is even more important. Let’s give these people trust, because everyone likes an appreciation, when someone sees we did all we could do.