Iulia Andrei Gupta (31 years old) got from Romania to UK as a student, and remained there after graduation. She got married, works as an interpreter for the local authorities and, for a few years, she is doing wonderful things for children in need from Romania and Moldova. She collects donations and sends them to both countries, and children’s joy when they receive the gifts is the most beautiful gift she could ever receive on Christmas time. Only this year, for instance, she collected 110 boxes with gifts for Shoe Box Moldova and other 8 big boxes with clothes, shoes and toys.
Iulia got to UK in 2008, as a student, she graduated the Faculty of Tourism Management and Marketing. She worked during her studies and was not easy. “My first job was in a club, I was collecting glasses from 10 pm to 2 o’clock in the morning, I was cleaning the bathroom from time to time”, Iulia remembers. In her first year of faculty, she went by bus only 1,5 months, as long as she had money for that – afterwards went to school on foot, 4 miles one way, 8 miles to school and back.
Worked in other restaurants, also, during the week-ends – and it was not easy at all.
Donations for Romanian children
Then, she started working as an interpreter, first for the national health system, then for the police and local courts. Got married to a wonderful man from India, settled in Birmingham, had the chance to travel a lot, but never forgot where she left from. So she tried, year by year, to collect donations for the children in need, in Romania at the beginning, also to contribute herself financially to the campaigns.
Last year, on the 1-st of June, sent 180 kilograms of donations to children from a Romanian village. Then sent donations a few more times to foundations or associations from Romania, things for children – clothes, toys, shoes, food.
More than 100 gifts for Shoe Box Moldova
Last year found out also about Shoe Box Moldova, but it was a little bit late, so she had searched for all her shoe boxes – there were 12 – and quickly made some Christmas gifts.
This year, she worked on the campaign with time, huge dedication and involvement and all her wonderful heart. The result was amazing – 110 boxes with gifts and other 8 big boxes with children’s clothes, shoes and toys.
“When I was 9 I was living in Motru, a small Romanian town, and my big brothers went to the Catholic Church for English classes. The nuns offered Shoe Boxes sent from UK for Romania, it was 1997-1998. My brothers came with some small boxes – one had a white teddy bear inside, the other one a perfume and also sweets. I loved it so much, it seemed amazing to me to get a gift from someone you don’t know and probably you never will. You offer your time and money for a stranger, and that’s impressive. I have tears in my eyes when I’m thinking that my brothers could’ve taken something for them, but they took something for me”, she says.
The miracle of giving
Iulia has a monthly amount from what she earns to be used for helping others. All of her friends and many others know her – all the time with her heart opened, ready to help, collecting for others who are not that lucky.
There’s no material reward for what she’s doing – but what she gets into her heart from children’s joy can’t possibly be described in any words. “That is why I woke up in the morning, just to see their faces, how happy they are when they open the gifts. It’s a moment of silence – you see nothing around you, you only see the face of a happy child. I’m thinking about the joy I’m giving and the joy my gift is received with. For me is as if you get a hug you’ve waited for a lot, a hug you needed”, she says.
Her biggest joy? “If one of those children does the same when he grows up for me is enough. Each person gives what she has – a smile, a hug – the moment you surrender yourself with good things, positive energy, the more you give the more it multiplies. There are few things that give me as much happiness as this – the thought of the children who open their gifts”, she says.
You can find Iulia on her Facebook Page, HERE
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