American Friends of Georgia & the Culture of Charity
28 November, 2013
American Friends of Georgia & the Culture of Charity
I write this for those who do not know much about a wonderful association of good people who are serving Georgia’s best interests with care and dedication: the American Friends of Georgia, who will host their annual Charity Gala at the Radisson Hotel in Tbilisi at 7 pm on Friday, November 29, 2013. Their aim is to restore the tradition of philanthropy, promote corporate social responsibility, and benefit the most needy children and elderly in Georgia. 
In past years, this celebration
has been a delightful, elegant event for our community, and helped to support children suffering from leukemia, and IDPs.  The events committee is putting together an extraordinary program for this year, with a live auction, raffle prizes, and a dance party. The goal of this Charity Gala is to support children suffering from leukemia and to introduce a palliative care program for the neediest elderly in Georgia.
In the past this Charity Gala has been made possible by generous donations from members of the corporate world, and the support of AmCham, embassies, the kind personal support of US Ambassadors, the First Lady, and prominent Georgian artists and musicians. It is ardently hoped that the tradition of philanthropy in Georgia will continue to be restored, and the celebration will be improved each year, but this cannot be done without the continued support of an appreciative community. 
If individuals and companies are able and ready to contribute to the event, American Friends of Georgia would be very grateful. It should be kept in mind that a contribution of any size is tax deductible, and will allow the American Friends of Georgia to help the most needy children and elderly in Georgia. Only together can good people make a difference!
There will be benefits and gifts of appreciation for each level of sponsorship. Also, some extra touches are going to be added this year, both for the guests and for the sponsors, to further show how much the American Friends of Georgia appreciate continued support.
So mark your calendar for Friday, November 29, 2013. Whether you are an individual or a member of a company, you can contribute. The American Friends of Georgia look forward to seeing all of their associates and supporters as their guests, along with other colleagues who will be invited to the event.
However, seats are limited at this extraordinary black tie evening with live music, an art auction, dinner and dancing. But only $100 per person is required to attend this grand soiree, which moreover has the potential to make many, many kids’ lives healthier, and the world in general, a much, much better place in which to live. In addition, it is also worth mentioning that corporate tables are available.
All proceeds from the event will go to the Leukemia Children’s Parents House, a home away from home which provides comfort and care to children undergoing treatment, and their families, and the Hospice and Home Care Program, which provides personalized in-home palliative care. AFG is a 501(c) 3 registered charitable organization – official receipts for all donations will be provided as requested. So far the gala is supported by: the US Embassy, Embassy of Brazil, Embassy of Japan, BP, GPC, TBC, DLA Piper, E&Y, BDO, BLC, BGI, IWA, and prominent Georgian artists. During the event Brazilian Ambassador Carlos Alberto Asfora will perform with Dini Virsaladze and a talented young musician from Tbilisi State Conservatory.
The Hematology-Oncology Center in the Iashvili Children’s Hospital in Tbilisi is the only treatment center for children with acute leukemia and lymphoma in Georgia. There are currently 30 children at the hospital receiving treatment.  Annually, approximately 40-50 new cases are diagnosed.
Parents House, which is modeled on the Ronald McDonald houses in the US, provides a home away from home for families caring for a child suffering from leukemia.  Parents from far off regions of Georgia can now comfortably stay with their children during the children’s lengthy treatment, and make them nutritious food. 
The Parents House is designed for 7 families, but there is not enough space to allocate a room for play and study.  The children have visitors from various education institutions who organize diverse events for them; however, there is currently no space for these gatherings.  Availability of more space will significantly improve the quality of life of the inhabitants of Parents House. Leukemia is curable, but only together can we make a difference.
In 2003AFG helped to establish in Georgia the first Hospice and Home Care Program which introduced palliative care to Georgia.  There is a great need for hospice and home care for Georgians who are chronically or terminally ill.  There are many sick and dying Georgians who have no one to care for them. 
The primary aims are to relieve the suffering of incurable patients, and support families affected by grief and bereavement.  Patients receive medical and emotional support, including pain control, to enable them to die with dignity in their homes.  Located in Tbilisi, next to Mercy Center Hospice in Avlabari, this program is helping 100 to 130 patients a year in their homes, caring for the seriously ill or terminally ill elderly.  But funds are needed for transportation expenses, medicines, medical supplies and food for the patients. 
This is a time when the American Friends of Georgia are reminding all of us that we can only function as a normal contemporary society if we continue in good faith to help those who need help from us, and depend for that help upon members of our society. No society can be complete without being capable and ready to do charity and volunteer work, and to know exactly how to do it.
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