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Lifeline Humanitarian Organization of Chicago, a 100% volunteer organization, under the patronage of HRH Crown Princess Katherine, is celebrating its 25 years since inception this 2018-2019 year. While they have been helping people in need over the course of the last 25 years, they have also been boosting the Serbian economy by purchasing goods and services locally when possible. Since its inception they have increased sales in local shops, employed various trucking companies and hired people who are artisans in Serbia. Every year they send containers to the Royal Palace in time for Christmas.
The first container arrived this week, valued at over $100,000 and is filled with gifts for thousands of orphans, children with disabilities and the elderly. In this container there are also toys and gifts used for the annual Christmas reception hosted at the Palace. Five hundred children in Serbia and Republika Srpska will receive individually wrapped gifts of new clothes, shoes, socks, with some institutions receiving new bedding, towels, plates and silverware. Numerous volunteers, outnumbering all previous years, both in the United States and in Serbia facilitate this very laborious process to bring cheer and goodwill to those that need it the most. Donors from numerous Serbian Orthodox churches in the US purchase items for specific individuals or places and then package them with the names of individuals on the packages. Volunteers in the US come to a donated warehouse and take all of the packages, as well as items donated to or purchased by Lifeline (books, hygiene supplies, toys and educational materials), and in an assembly-line fashion, place items in boxes, color-code them for specific places and load them on to the containers that ship out of Chicago. Boxes arrive in Serbia marked, labeled and numbered for each individual place where volunteers in Serbia then unload boxes, arrange for transportation and more volunteers to bring to the orphanages, shelters and various institutions. None of Lifeline’s efforts would be possible if it were not for the donors from local churches and organizations who give, the volunteers who help both in the US and in Serbia, and the companies which offer Lifeline shipping, trucking and the donated space for storage, assembly and packaging. Lifeline expressed deep gratitude for all of the individuals, churches and companies involved in such a large and well-organized project.
The second container will arrive later this week filled with boxes for various institutions, there will be athletic tops and bottoms for men and women, undergarments, new socks, and hygiene bags. Supplies will go to five different women’s shelters, the Diocesan soup kitchen of the St. Petka Monastery who care for the nuns and disabled women and children from Ljubostinja Monastery. Lifeline is also sending to the “Kosnica” camp two large all weather tents and supplies of new games and hygiene supplies. Orphaned children from Serbia together with Kosovo and Croatia attend the “Kosnica” day camp for 10 days. Several schools will also receive new educational toys, and games that
cannot be purchased in Serbia. Local libraries will be supplied with American books for learning and the baseball and football (American football) teams will receive donations.