When I graduated from college, I went to work for a PR agency. , I remember myself swimming in a pool, after a month of endless press releases, press clippings, and press kits, and thinking–what’s the point? What’s the outcome? The answer upset me. It’s possible I poorly chose the way to apply myself and had I chosen something other than PR I’d have found myself. But it was what it was.
Back then, under a thick layer of chlorinated water, I thought about how much I wanted to go somewhere as a volunteer, so that my efforts would be useful and lead me to believe I do not live for nought. Volunteer at an orphanage, a retirement home, a hospice. Of course, I had no idea what these places were like, and that in reality helping there is an unbelievably difficult endeavor. Although perhaps I realized what the reality was like, because I did not advance beyond thinking about it. Even today I can say I’m not quite up to it. But by paths unknown, without even wishing it, I became a leader (is there a more correct way of stating it?) of a tiny unofficial welfare fund for aiding the people of the Donbass. There are many of us and the main people in this process are our Lugansk Zhenya and Lena. It’s also my many helpers and friends here, in Moscow, other cities, and other countries. I don’t fully know the scale of work we’ve done. I only see what’s happening today and write about it. We got ourselves into various situations, sometimes got experienced disappointment, bitterness. A lot happened–some of that you’ve read about and experienced with us. But there are several people whom we help on a permanent basis, people who have become flags, markers.
I then decided that we’d manage. That we couldn’t allow such a beautiful and young girl to depart. Not now. Not her.
I don’t know why I decided that, I even thought at one time I had no right get involved in someone else’s affairs.
Vika is very important to me. She’s very strong and the war worked her over badly. The loss of a brother, then grandmother, TB, health problems, and finally the loss of eyesight. Vika has diabetes, and her situation makes the disease dangerous.
Sometimes I write a lot about her, sometimes very little. I often repeat myself, but she means so much to me.
You can read all the posts about Vika by clicking on the Vika tag at the bottom of this post. We continue to actively help her. We recently brought her, thanks to you, a new computer with all the software for the blind. That was a breakthrough for her.
I regularly correspond with Sveta, her mom, about their affairs. I haven’t been in Lugansk since March so I write on the basis of what Lena or Sveta write me. This time I decided to publish a letter Sveta sent.
It’s probably not very modest on my part, but it’s not about me but all of us who helped her, so that these words of thanks are also directed to you:”Dunyechka, welcome! The notebook gave Vika the ability to independently deal with matters which interest her! Even the smallest accomplishment brings huge joy! This is so far the only way for her to maintain her intellectual potential! I think everyone realizes she’s had psychological trauma too, and that she’s found herself isolated due to blindness. Vika is active in various events, though not often. She got a certificate from UTOS (a society for the blind) for her active participation, she tries to help me as well, and my inspiration does sterling work. As far as health is concerned, she sleeps a lot and can’t tell day and night apart. It’s particularly hard when she’s ill.
We were recently seriously ill, first Vika then I. A viral infection, with very weak immunity. It would have been enough to sneeze on us on the bus…But you can’t get very far on foot. It’s very hot, it’s bad for one’s mood. Besides that, all the classic diabetic complaints…Legs are burning from neuropathy, sometimes there’s anxiety…Every has us under their monitoring: endocrinologist, cardiologist, neuropathologist, opthalmologist. Vika is alive thanks to you and your help, if it weren’t for it she’d have been gone by now! Thank you for all these years of life you granted her. I remember our first meeting. I’m insanely grateful to all of you! I still can’t believe such things happen. Strangers become family…Tears are welling up now…May your life know no sorrow! Our lives have been one big test, and thanks to all who made you the way they are! Your mama and papa! ❤💋🙏”
I still often swim and think about what’s happening in my life. I torture myself underwater with thousands of questions about everything, but such letters give me a sense of confidence and understanding it’s not for nought.
If you want to help Vika or other people of the Donbass, please write me in person through LiveJournal, facebook, V Kontakte, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Paypal address: email@example.com.
Please label donations for Vika “Vika”.