Elderly Man Begs for Money and Donates to Churches

May 1, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. veteran /ˈvɛthttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngərhttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngən, ˈvɛhttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngtrən/ (n.) – a person who fought in a war
Example: War veterans receive a monthly pension from the government.

2. restoration /ˌrɛshttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngtəˈreɪhttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngʃən/ (n.) – the act of bringing something into its original condition, especially a building
ExampleThe government spends a lot of money for the restoration of very old buildings.

3. meager /ˈmihttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pnggər/ (adj.) – inadequate or very small in amount or quantity
ExampleI left the company because it gives meager salary.

4. pension /ˈpɛnhttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngʃən/ (n.) – a fixed amount of money given to a person for his/her past services
Example The retired man received a higher pension than he expected.

5. testament /ˈtɛshttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pnghttp://static.sfdict.com/dictstatic/dictionary/graphics/luna/thinsp.pngmənt/ (n.) – a proof that something exists or is real
Example: His hard work and determination is a testament of what a man can do for his dreams.


Read the text below.
A 99-year-old World War II veteran begs for money so he could donate to some churches in Bulgaria [buhl-GAIR-ee-uh, boo l-].

Dobri Dobrev [DOH-bref] is known in Bulgaria as “Dyado Dobri” or “Grandpa Dobri.” Every day, he walks 25 kilometers from his home in Baylovo village to Sofia, Bulgaria’s capital city, to beg for the whole day.

He is known to be expressive of his great gratitude to those who drop coins. He often kisses a child’s hand with a smile and talks to strangers about God.

After begging for so many years, Dobrev has collected around 78,000 lev or more than $55,000. Although he was able to collect this much, he never spent the money for his own needs. Instead, he donated the money for the restoration of the churches and monasteries all over Bulgaria.

Dobrev gave 10,000 lev ($7,082) to the Church of St. Cyril [SIR-uh l] and Methodius. He also donated 25,000 lev ($17,706) to the Eleshnishkiya monastery and the church in Gorno Kamartsi. His biggest donation so far is 35,000 lev ($24,789), which he gave to the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

For his own needs, Dobrev makes use of the meager 80-Euro ($110) pension he receives every month. Instead of buying new ones, he stitches his own clothes, makes his own shoes, and lives by eating only a slice of bread and tomato every day. Some church leaders have tried offering him help, but he refused all of them.

Because of his good deeds, some people named Dobrev the Saint of Baylovo. Dobrev also serves as a living testament that a person with true kindness and selflessness still exists today.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What is your opinion about Dobrev donating all his money from begging to the churches? Please explain.
·         If you were Dobrev, would you have done the same thing? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Are there people like Dobrev in your country?
·         How do you generally see humanity, good or bad?


May 1, 2014