We are a close-knit, homeschooled family of five, a boy and two girls. In May of 1999 the oldest daughter and her father had the chance to go to Romania. While there, they saw a lifestyle and culture that had been destroyed by Communism. Remnants of the system still lingered, even after ten years, and would for a long time.
Especially remaining vivid in their minds was the contrast between two institutions. One was an orphanage in the northern city of Cluj, and the other was a hospital for the handicapped. The orphanage had about six children for every care worker, much better than the 30:1 ratio of 1990. Bright, colorful pictures had been painted on the walls, and many children were being reintegrated into their families. But in the hospital, there were no pictures on the cracked walls, few care workers, and the patients had no hope of leaving. It came to be our understanding later that many of the other orphanages and hospitals scattered throughout the country were more similar to the hospital.
In November of 1999, we started a quilt drive for the orphanages, which turned out to be a highly successful endeavor. We prayed for at least 200 quilts; the result, more than 850 blankets and afghans poured in, boxes coming almost daily for several weeks. This year, we came up with a different idea. Why not turn our hobby and passion of making furniture, especially Shaker, into a way to raise money for the institutions of Romania?
Out of this idea has grown Shaker with a Mission. We are dedicated to making quality furniture. A Shaker saying aptly describes our furniture. "Do everything as though you were to die tomorrow, but as if it would last a thousand years."
If you would like a detailed log of the Romania trip, please click here. For pictures only, click here. We thank you very much for your support.
The Whitney Family