They are waiting. We don’t always notice it, but they are waiting for us. Those elderly people who are left alone at the end of their years because they don’t have a family, or they have lost it and now live alone and off the beaten track… The only thread that connects them with the world is people who come to visit, ask how they are, help them cope with loneliness and make them warm with attention and care…
Vision and mood
“Why is it called Packages of Care? Because every package has not only some goodies and sweets (it is unfortunate, but elderly people can pamper themselves with such things so rarely nowadays!); I did not forget to add some of that pleasant and thrilling feeling of care there,” the Goodacity volunteer Oksana says about her initiative to visit elderly people in Chernihiv region.
“Time and attention, the warmth of soul, the feeling that they are needed and not forgotten — this is exactly what they lack the most now…”.
Step 1. Care delivery
Take more than 50-70 kilometers of country roads from Chernihiv and you find yourself in the remote Kruhle village. Only… three people live here! Our visit is a complete surprise for them! There are no shops here, buses rarely come, empty houses gape through hollow windows. Time seems to have stopped here… Rare guests are like a breath of fresh air for locals: we notice how touched old men quietly wipe away their tears, and some do not even hide them…
“These packages are more than just grocery baskets for these people!” the Goodacity volunteer Oksana says.
“This is a fantastic package of care and attention! It is so important for them to feel needed; they want human warmth so much… The pain of loneliness in the eyes of the elderly struck me the most. Perhaps the most precious thing for them, except for the basic needs, is simple communication, just being around people. And when you see their joy, their tears of gratitude and emotion, you understand that both the fatigue and the long journey are not in vain! Such trips and moving impressions you get from them remain in the memory for a very, very long time, they touch your heart. And as you know, all the most important changes begin right there, within our hearts…”.
Step 2. Uncommon stories of common people
Lately each of the remote villages we stopped by during our “journey of care” had not many young residents, and with the beginning of a full-scale war, most of the inhabitants left at all. The lonely elderly people stayed…
Each of them has their own painful story and tired hands. They are all very different and at the same time similar. Similar, first of all, in saying that our attention is more pleasant and more important to them than the groceries we have brought! Meeting us, some cried from joy, some cried with emotion, and some cried remembering everything that happened in their life that was not a bed of roses…
They need very little — a bit of our time and of our hearts. Any communication is valuable and unforgettable for them! And asking about their lives, we hear a lot of life stories that impress us to the core. They are so various…
Grandma Pronia has a difficult fate. She’s buried all her three sons and lives alone now, as her only daughter is far away. Her life is modest at the most; loneliness and health problems got her cornered. But despite all the past and present difficulties, she makes the best of it, she loves people and life, and her kind heart and believing in the good help to wake up every day!
The village of Dniprovske, where Grandma Tamara lives, is very close to the border with Belarus. Rockets and helicopters have been flying over them since the first day of full-scale war. Grandma Tamara’s son served through the ATO and immediately enlisted when the war started. Her thoughts and prayers, her heart of the mother – they are with him every day… And with all our defenders, who are all “sons” for her.
Grandma Nadia from the village of Kruhle is 90 years old! Despite her much respectable age, she still takes care of a simple household, even works in the vegetable garden! “So, people live as long as they do something,” she explains. Although, of course, the health is not the same in her nineties as it was before, it lets her down: her back hurts, and blood pressure sometimes goes over the top, but she is optimistic and doesn’t lack taste for life!
They say that there is no such thing as other people’s children: perhaps, there is no such thing as other people’s grandparents too? There is something helpless and childish in their vulnerability and sincerity, in their fragility and openness… And they are so incredibly happy with every manifestation of humanness and kindness of the soul! What if each of us peers into our souls and gives a helping hand to someone who needs it?
Time to sum it up
They are waiting. They really want to be heard and seen. We would like to address to everyone who reads these lines: if you are lucky enough to have a grandparent, put aside everything you are doing right now and call them—just to ask how they are doing and remind that you are there for them. And don’t pass by lonely old people on the street, in a store or pharmacy, don’t hesitate to approach them and ask if they require some help with food or medicine, or maybe they just need somebody to listen to them. Compassion is the same everywhere. Only the ways of showing it are different. It’s really that easy to warm people with your hearts and kindness, to support them and pay some attention. These elderly people would be happy to feel that we care about them. May the autumn of their lives be warm!
You can afford yourself the luxury of goodness!
Doing good is very simple!
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