Once there were people who lived quietly in a blooming city. They worked, loved, and took care of each other. The city lived its everyday life: the mills were working, people were rushing to work, children were laughing and playing on the playgrounds…
And then the war came to the city, and covered it with its black wing. The streets grew empty, children’s laughter vanished, and pits from missile strikes appeared like wounds on the body of the city.
The city is holding on. It is brave, it does not give up. And people continue to believe, love and care for each other, wherever they are.
The story of how Ms. Olya from Kramatorsk, Ukraine, decided to help her neighbor Raisa Timofiyivna who stayed in the frontline city, is one that inspires and motivates people. This is a story of a person who finds strength to support and help others, even in difficult circumstances, including helping the elderly during the war.
"It was a miracle that we survived"
“I am from Kramatorsk,” Ms. Olya says. “I lived there all my life. Every nook and corner of the city is my home, and there are so many people dear and close to me. How can I describe our city? For me, it is native, blooming, cozy… And now it is on the frontline for all of us, and every news about shelling and destruction brings me incredible pain. Life is very, very difficult for the people who stayed there and are surviving in the line of fire, and that is why helping the elderly during the war is so important.”
“My former neighbor Raisa Timofiyivna is one of those people who still live in what journalists call a ghost city. She turned 77 in autumn; she lives alone, her husband died of cancer six years ago, and her own health is not great either. I left the city with my children last spring, and she refused to leave.”
“The city has been shelled since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion. At first, we thought that we could stay there and wait it out, but the shelling became more and more intense, there were no more hospitals, shops, or pharmacies working, so my children and I decided to leave.”
“We left Kramatorsk on April 9. Why is this date so memorable? Because it was a very terrible, tragic day. On April 8, the Russian occupiers fired missiles at the railway station where people were waiting for evacuation trains, and numerous people died, both adults and children. We were also supposed to be there that day, but we could not buy tickets for the train and decided to leave the next day. It was a real horror, and it was a miracle that we avoided it and survived…”
“I and my two children, my son, who is 12, and my 18-year-old daughter, went into the unknown: first we left for Dnipro, then moved to Kyiv, Ukraine, where we still live. At that time, we thought that we were leaving for several weeks, but we spent more than 9 months here already. However, in my thoughts I am there, with my native city and the people who remained there…”
"Helping each other, we will win for sure"
“In the spring, when many people left Kramatorsk, there were only two people left in the entry section of the house where I used to live as a child, and one of them was Mrs. Raisa,” the woman says. “Her neighbors left, social workers who provided social care to the elderly left, and the elderly were left alone with their illnesses, old age, and disabilities. This lonely old woman basically has not been outside for several years, poor health is bothering her, but her small pension is not enough to buy all the medicines she needs, so she gets only the most necessary ones. Her nephew visits her occasionally; he has a disability himself, but at least he can walk, so he takes care of the woman as best as he can.”
“I really wanted to help Raisa Timofiyivna, though I did not have many opportunities for this myself. But I genuinely wanted to support the relay race of goodness. Caring people helped us in our new place, so someone would help us, and we would help someone else. That’s how we live! Could it be any other way?”
“I saw the information about the microgrant from Goodacity and was glad that I could have a chance to make something good. Thank you for this unique project that helps multiply goodness! Due to this microgrant, I was able to help Mrs. Raisa and cheer her up during the winter holidays. Of course Raisa Timofiyivna was happy to get some help. And how could she not be happy, when she received a supply of medicine for the winter! No need to worry that something will be missing at the pharmacy or that the pension will be delayed. She has everything at home now.”
“I also sent her some sweets and little presents along with the medicines, since elderly people love sweets as much as children do. And our attention and care touch them deeply. This is more than just a package of medicines and treats for a lonely elderly woman; it is hope! It is the feeling of not being alone, even in these dire circumstances. The most important thing for a helper is to know that they supported a person in a difficult moment, and it makes the heart warm.”
“I am happy that I was able to help someone! This is a very nice feeling. And a very important one. This relay race of goodness is so inspiring! We should do good things ourselves, without waiting for someone else to do it. After all, by helping each other, we will win for sure! We can overcome everything together!”