...

Goodacity – Dare to be Good

Olha Sahal
Written by
Olha Sahal
Written by
Technical Writer at United Thinkers
I am the author of the Goodacity blog, a journalist, and a translator. For 16 years, I have worked in professional journalism, contributing to regional and national publications, both in print and online media. I have written reports, conducted interviews, reviews, articles on cultural, social, and charitable topics, as well as materials in the style of "solution journalism" and communication materials. Read more
Yulia Didyk
Reviewed by
Yulia Didyk
Reviewed by
Culture Manager at United Thinkers
I am a manager of cultural affairs and a project manager with over 14 years of experience at United Thinkers. I have participated in the organization of numerous successful social and charitable projects and have implemented informational campaigns and communication cases. Read more

Warm with attention and care

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 path. The only thread that connects them with the world is people who visit, ask how they are, help them cope with loneliness, and warm them with attention and care.

Start

Start

Vision and mood

“Why is it called Packages of Care? Because every package has not only some goodies and sweets (it is unfortunate, but the elderly can rarely pamper themselves with such things nowadays!). I did not forget to add some of that pleasant and thrilling feeling of care there,” Goodacity volunteer, Oksana, says about her initiative to visit elderly people in the Chernihiv region, Ukraine.

“Time and attention, the warmth of soul, the feeling that they are needed and not forgotten — this is what they lack most right now.”

Step

Step 1. Care delivery

Take more than 50-70 kilometers of country roads from Chernihiv,Ukraine, and you will find yourself in the remote Kruhle village. Only three people live here, and our visit was a complete surprise for them! There are no shops here, buses rarely come, and empty houses gape through hollow windows. Time seems to have stopped here, and rare guests are like a breath of fresh air for locals: we noticed how touched older men quietly wipe away their tears, and some do not even hide them.

“These packages are more than just grocery baskets for these people!” Goodacity volunteer, Oksana, says.

“This is a fantastic package of care and attention! It is so vital for them to feel needed; they want so much for human warmth. The pain of loneliness in the eyes of the elderly struck me the most. But, perhaps the most precious thing for them, except for their basic needs being met, is simple communication, just being around other 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! On the contrary, such trips and the moving impressions you get from them remain in your 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

Step 2. Uncommon stories of ordinary people

Lately, each of the remote villages we stopped by during our “Journey of Care” had few young residents. With the beginning of a full-scale war, few inhabitants remained at all. Instead, it was the lonely elderly residents who stayed behind.

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 vital to them than the groceries we have brought! In meeting us, some cried with joy, some cried with emotion, and some shed tears when revisiting all the hardships throughout their lives.

They need very little — a bit of our time and hearts. Any communication is valuable and unforgettable for them! When asking about their lives, we hear many stories that impress us to the core. They are so varied…

Grandma Pronia has a difficult fate. She’s buried all three of her sons and now lives alone as her only daughter is far away. Her life is modest at the most; loneliness and health problems have her cornered. However, despite all the past and present difficulties, she makes the best of it; she loves people and life, and her kind heart believing in good, helps to wake up every day!

The village of Dniprovske, Ukraine, where Grandma Tamara lives, is very close to the border with Belarus. Rockets and helicopters have flown 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, Ukraine, is 90 years old! Yet, despite her respectable age, she still cares for a simple household, even working in the vegetable garden! “People live as long as they do something,” she explains. Of course, her health is not the same in her nineties as it once was. It lets her down: her back hurts, and her blood pressure sometimes goes over the top. Still, she is optimistic and doesn’t lack a taste for life!

They say there is no such thing as other people’s children: perhaps, there is no such thing as other people’s grandparents either? There is something helpless and childish in their vulnerability and sincerity, their fragility and openness. And they are so delighted with every manifestation of humanity and kindness of the soul! What if each of us peers into our souls and gives a helping hand to someone who needs it?

Finish

Finish

Time to sum it up

They are waiting. They really want to be heard and seen. So we want to address 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. Ask how they are doing and remind them that you are there for them. Don’t pass by lonely older people on the street, in a store, or pharmacy, and feel free to approach them to ask if they require help with food or medicine. Maybe they just need somebody to listen to them. 

Compassion is the same everywhere. It is only the ways of showing it that are different. It’s effortless to warm people with your hearts and kindness, to support them and pay some attention. These elderly Ukrainians would be happy to feel that we care about them. May the autumn of their lives be warm!

Doing good is very simple!

You can afford yourself the luxury of goodness!

Doing good is very simple!

Do you know a school that needs help?
Do you want to take part in our next charity event?
Do you want to know how you can help?