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OP0264-PARE “With Love and Smile” - Charity Events for People with Rheumatic Diseases
  1. L. Stancheva1,
  2. S. Bozhinova1,
  3. B. Boteva1
  1. 1Bulgarian organization for patients with rheumatic diseases, Sofia, Bulgaria


Background Every person experiences some hard moments in life when they need support and understanding. People who suffer from rheumatic disease are not an exception. The best support we receive come from people with similar problems, the same fears and daily challenges. Many people have found their way to cope with most difficulties, pain and bad mood in a positive and creative way. They turned to a simple art - papering handmade things for small presents. For such a job everyone needs inspiration and they have it but also they have inspired us – the members of the BOPRD board. We organized Christmas charity bazaar where all this masterpieces made by person with RA, AS or any other rheumatic disease can be sold and may bring joy to somebody with a big heart.

Objectives To encourage more people with rheumatic disease to use the art as a therapy.

To raise awareness about rheumatic diseases

Financial support for people with RMD’s for rehabilitation.

Methods We organized the first Christmas charity bazaar was in 2011. We announced the event among all members of BOPRD – patients and their families and invited them to participate as authors of handmade stuffs. We organized small groups where people with RMD’s and their friends were able to create Christmas cards, handmade jewellery etc. Those meetings for the people in the groups were very pleasant bringing nice emotions, possibilities for sharing problems as well as chances to forget about them even for a while and spend time in creative atmosphere. At the end we had brilliant things prepared with love ready for the Christmas bazaar. All the good feelings during preparations inspired us to give a name to our bazaar “With love and smile for Christmas”.

We announced the event among all people who support us and ask them to invite their friends. That was one stage of the raising awareness. The second stage was the information released on the radio and TV.

Results With incomes from the bazaar 10 people with very low incomes some of them from small and remote villages were able to go to rehabilitation. For some of them this has been the only chance for years to visit a specialized place for professional rehabilitation. In this way we achieved the third aim of our project.

Conclusions After the success of the first Christmas bazaar “With Love and Smile for Christmas” we decided to turn it into tradition. In 2012 we organized the second one with some improvements. We invited more authors of handmade things, who are not RMD’s suffers. It was a very good way to raise awareness among much more people.

This may sound insignificant or may make you wonder what a tradition are that events? Yes, this is a tradition for our very young organization. BOPRD was founded in November 2010 and we are proud that we can be active and supportive and walk our road with small, but stable steps “with love and smile”.

Acknowledgements To all participants and people who supported the event and especially to Dimitar Manolov and Ani Krasteva

Disclosure of Interest None Declared

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