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THE BULGARIAN-AMERICAN SOCIETY
Stanimir Alexandrov, President
Avis Bohlen, Vice President
Meryl Steigman, Executive Director
Tel: (301) 229-7509
Fax: (301) 229-7526
Email: steigmax@verizon.net
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Please make checks payable to the Bulgarian-American Society
Meryl Steigman, Executive Director
Bulgarian-American Society
7701 Granada Drive
Bethesda, MD 20817-6607

2013 Annual Report

In past years, the Society has worked closely with Peace Corps volunteers in finding and assessing projects in small villages.  We would not have known about collapsing community centers or the need for converting vacant lots into green sports centers.  Volunteers also alerted us to the need for small centers where unemployed teens could spend time learning about computer or acquiring basic reading skills.  In the absence of this excellent resource, the BAS has relied on NGOs that are known to be honest and reliable.  We have concentrated our efforts to provide funding for social welfare, education and human development.

During 2013, BAS funded several projects to help students in public schools and in orphanages.

Integro  has a program to provide  high school textbooks to Roma students who cannot afford them.  This has enabled Roma students to participate in classroom discussions throughout the school year.  BAS has provided funds for several thousand books.

McKenzie Foundation 
  • Giants and Dwarfs program that unites elderly people in homes with students.
  • We also sent funds for the McKenzie Foundation Teaching Tolerance Program, an important project that brings different ethnic student groups together for discussions of contemporary problems in Bulgaria and other societies
Tabitha Bulgaria is an organization that monitors and helps institutions for children.
  • With contributions from several individuals, BAS funded the restoration of a children's home in Vratza.  A group of American volunteers also spent time in Vratza, painting and plastering the decrepit rooms.
  • BAS also sent money to help purchase beds and bedding for the children in Vratza.  (Many of the beds were broken and lacked mattresses.)
  • BAS provided funds to aid in the construction of a facility for teens who will soon be leaving the institution, in some cases, the only home they have ever known.  This facility is designed to give them an idea of independent living.
  • BAS has supported the baba (grandma) program - in which women work with two children with special needs.  We have received private donations for the babas.
Arete manages Camp GLOW,  which is a week of outdoor activities and seminars for ethnically diverse teenage girls.    The participants discuss the role of women in society, human trafficking, and ethnic diversity.  BAS continued its annual financial support of Camp GLOW.

Stara Zagora Community Foundation.  BAS provided funds to refurbish a school and a collapsing community center.  These funds were donated by a private citizen.

Detstvo, is a Bulgarian organization which helps teens leaving orphanages and organizes funding for university scholarships.  BAS has supported this important work for several years. In 2013, we provided  20 university scholarships.

Bulgarian Charities Aid Foundation also provides scholarships for bright high school and university students.  BAS continues to support these grants.  In 2013, we provided 20 scholarships.
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