Special Greetings

The Lugansk Aid Center (the official name is different and totally tooth-rattling) keeps score of many families. With multiple children, without fathers, with adoptive children, with disabled children–everyone who for one reason or another found themselves in a “difficult situation.” They receive help within the center’s abilities. After 2014 the number of such families sharply increased. It also included refugees, who fled to Lugansk from border zones. Many lost their homes, relatives, and other sources of aid. There were many wounded, many people who lost relatives, many disabled. The situation of families who were struggling before the war became utterly desperate when the war began. Unfortunately, there are many women with children who were abandoned by their husbands and have to live on crumbs. There was a New Year’s tree ceremony held for them, during which we, for the fourth year running, give presents to the children. But there were also kids who were unable to come. These kids are disabled.
We came upon the idea several years ago of visiting these families to bring them presents. I did that myself last year. By the end of the day I was prostrate with fatigue but it was genuine happiness. The happiness of children, their parents, grandparents. Both the children and the adults sang, danced, and even cried from the joy and the unexpectedness.
This year I passed the baton to the amazing Olya, a social worker at the Lugansk Center. You should remember Olya, we keep helping her cancer-stricken mother with medications.
Here are some photos of Olya the Snow Maiden with the kids. Various kids–some have mental deficiencies, others physical ones. Yet others have none, but all of these kids and their parents are struggling.
Zhenya wrote: “They were waiting for us!!! The kids were prepared, they recited enough poems to last us the whole year.)) For most of them this was a happy event–this much was clear to an unaided eye.”
You don’t know most of these kids, though others you’ve met on the pages of my journal.
Friends, thanks to all of you who helped make this holiday for the kids! You can’t imagine what it means to them to be visited by Grandfather Frost and the Snow Maiden. It’s the happiest of happiness.
Special greetings for these special kids!


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Nothing but good news

The last two days were perfectly crazy, as we, dressed up as Grandfather Frost and Snow Maiden visited practically all of Lugansk.
By the evening we were barely standing and it seems I dreamed we visited more kids and made them read poetry.
Cars were honking at us, people were waving and nearly all the adults were excitedly conveying us New Year’s greetings.
We visited many apartments, but this post will cover only those which you already know.
The people we help, those whom you periodically see on the pages of this blog.
Here we are visiting the family of Vitaliy, a militiaman from Rubezhnoye. Vitaliy spent over a year in captivity in Ukraine. Now he, his wife, and son live in a dorm in Lugansk.

 

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Help on-line

I once wrote that our effort now resembles that of a philanthropic foundation–we have to do so much.
But most importantly, in addition to the visits, we try to continue providing aid to needy families to the extent of our abilities. In other words, providing aid is now a continuous process.
All of that faraway work is performed by our Lugansk Zhenya and Lena.
At some point, once he agrees, I will write about them. I will write a great deal. Both have become close friends.

Our Seryozha Kutsenko. He now lives in a retirement home for the veterans of Great Patriotic War.
The guys regularly bring him tasty things in our absence, but the main thing are the visits themselves, since he is lonely and bored there.

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Needed: A Corset

This is Zhakhangyul. A young single mom of two kids, one of whom is disabled. By and large, most of those who could leave Lugansk have done so. Those who remain are those who can’t. It’s not important why. As a rule, they are the most vulnerable demographics.
Zhakhangyul speaks Russian very poorly, and in general has a very weak understanding of what’s happening in politics.
Her husband left a long time ago, and doesn’t contact wife or children. But she did not abandon her son.
She’s applying for benefits.
She can’t take up a job because that would mean leaving the house which she can’t do–Otabek, her 12-year-old son, immediately begins to cry and scream.

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