FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SWEET SLEEP BEGINS WORK ON “HOME SWEET HOME”
Launches $215,000 Fundraising Campaign for Transitional Housing Program in Moldova
NASHVILLE, Tenn. and CHISINAU, Moldova (September 1, 2005) -- Sweet Sleep today announced details on its transitional housing program for orphan boys in Moldova and its kickoff of a $215,000 fundraising campaign called Home Sweet Home.
Sweet Sleep’s Transitional Housing Program
Each spring, 80 to 90 students, half of whom are boys, ‘graduate’ from the Internat II orphanage in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova. Boys graduating are typically 16 to 17 years in age and have completed the equivalent of the ninth grade when they are discharged and turned out on to the streets. Sweet Sleep has created a transitional housing program for these young men which will provide a safe, stable environment in order to allow participants to further pursue their education, learn job skills, obtain employment and develop core values that will enable them to become mentors to the young boys still in the orphanage.
When completed, the transitional house is expected to shelter approximately 10-12 boys a year. Sweet Sleep plans to hire a mature Christian couple from Moldova to serve as houseparents. The transitional house will also serve as a staging area for those boys employed by Sweet Sleep in its carpentry and bed- building programs for local orphanages.
"The statistics on these boys are horrendous as 10% are expected to commit suicide and 70% join the mafia or end up in prison as a result of desperate attempts to survive," noted Jen Gash, founder of Sweet Sleep. "Today marks the start of a new school year in Moldova and the last day that these boys are officially part of the orphanage. As we speak, they are on the streets looking for a place to stay tonight. The boys need not only a roof over their heads but a support safety net to model the appropriate behavior as well as nurture and mentor them in becoming men of strong character that are gainfully employed and contributing to society."
First Year Campaign Goal
The Home Sweet Home campaign has established a first year goal of raising $215,000 for the boys’ transitional housing program. This total is comprised of $40,000 for purchasing the existing house and surrounding two acres in Moldova; $120,000 for completeing construction; $30,000 for first year operational expenses; and $25,000 for first year programming expenses. At the official campaign launch earlier this week, Home Sweet Home announced that it has already raised the $40,000 needed to purchase the house. Sweet Sleep expects to close on the purchase of the property within the next couple of weeks and begin construction as soon as the necessary funds are raised.
Tripp Sullivan, Home Sweet Home campaign chair, added, “Without a permanent address, it is virtually impossible for these boys to obtain identity papers. That in turn makes them unemployable. In a culture that values family connections and considers orphans the lowest of all classes, these boys are caught in a vicious cycle that can’t be stopped on its own. We hope to solve this problem for them. We are already off to a strong start on the campaign and will be actively pursuing additional funds in the coming days and weeks to reach our goal. With a climate similar to that of Minnesota, winter in Moldova is just ahead of us. We don’t have a moment to lose.”
About Sweet Sleep
Sweet Sleep was founded in 2003 as a faith-based ministry to provide new beds to orphaned children in the third-world country of Moldova. To date, Sweet Sleep employs six discharged orphans who have helped to build over 350 beds. Sweet Sleep has been featured in several well-known publications, such as The Tennessean, Baptist & Reflector, The Texas Baptist Standard, and Today’s Child and Family magazine. Sweet Sleep is affiliated with CERI (Children’s Emergency Relief International), in San Antonio, Texas.
Home Sweet Home Campaign
All rights reserved. Sweet Sleep 2003