We are Douglas & Bernadette Leggett and we would like to tell you a little about ourselves and our involvement in the Dimcho Debelianov Orphanage in Silistra, Bulgaria. We currently live in Peterborough in the UK, two ordinary people working to pay the bills and enjoying a holiday when we can. We have been visiting Bulgaria now for a number of years and we just love the country, the people and their traditions. Most of all, we feel very passionate about the children in the Orphanages.
We started off bringing a few extra clothes and giving them to various people, to give to the needy and the orphanages. Then, in 2005, we bought a small house in Silistra, in the North-East of Bulgaria, which we renovated in order to spend our holidays there. We got to know our neighbours, the villagers, their families and, more importantly, we got to know about the Dimcho Debelianov Orphanage.
We decided that we would bring what we could to help the children ourselves. Dougie built a huge trailer with the intention of filling it with goods for the children and driving over. We had lots of help and collected goods from friends, family, work colleagues and Freecycle. The results were wonderful. Before we knew it, we had boxes and boxes to transport to Bulgaria. The trailer was almost finished when due to sudden illness, all our plans had to be changed, and the trip was delayed for 7 months.
We collected more than we could carry in a trailer, so we had to find another way of transporting the goods to Bulgaria, therefore, I contacted a Bulgarian transport company and they agreed to transport for just under £2,000. We had no other option but to pay for the transport of the goods - we had come this far and could not let the children down now.
Finally, the boxes were delivered to the children on the 20th October 2008, the most wonderful experience we have ever experienced. We were so happy, even through all the problems we had encountered, the setbacks, Dougie’s ill health, extra costs etc., we achieved our goal. It was just wonderful. The children were delighted and our donations made them so happy. We decided there and then that this is what we wanted to do, to help those who are less fortunate than ourselves.
Our aim is to send a lorry load out every September - we hope to get help with the goods and transport costs. We can do so much to help the children, but naturally, we cannot do it alone next time ... therefore we need your help please. We are also aware of a baby/medical orphanage in the same town and have collected boxes of goods for them too, as well as some products for the Hospital and the Home for the Elderly. All we need to do now is get the goods out to the needy people of Bulgaria.
Thank you for your help, without you, we cannot do this.
Berni & Dougie