There should always be room for a child's smile!
Children need joy! Despite all the trials and tribulations, there should always be a place for a child’s smile!
“I am happy that we managed to bring smiles back to the children’s faces, at least for a while, so that all the horrors of war would be left behind, and the children can learn to dream, laugh, and be happy again!” says the heroine of our story, Ms. Nataliya. “This is what we need, such balls of kind words and good deeds that roll around the world, make people happier, and fill everything around with goodness. Helping children heals people’s souls, ignites their smiles, reminds them that light can be found even in the darkest times. Thank you Goodacity, for those threads that connected us and wound up in a ball of good things!”
Hope and care from the Hope society
“I confess, I was happy like a little child when I received a letter about the microgrant!” Ms. Nataliya says. “And we put together the first good thing in just half an hour!”
“I am the head of the Nadiya [Hope] Voluntary Society for the Protection of Children with Disabilities in Brody District, Ukraine”, Nataliya Popova says. “I didn’t end up here by chance, my son is autistic, and this organization opened up new pages in our lives. Our young employees and volunteers try to do their best to hold cozy meetings for the children so that the classes are as interesting, meaningful and useful as possible, and all children are provided with basic commodities. But this year, children who left their homes to save their lives because of the war joined us. We decided to share the sparks of hope and goodness with these kids! And one microgrant made as many as three children happy!”
Good that warms
“Danylko is a boy who attracts you like a magnet,” Natalya says about her protégé. “His family came to our city from southern Ukraine.
I met Danylko during filming a story about his family. I was also simultaneously working in a local charity fund project for displaced families at that time. When we entered the apartment, the mother of the family and two little boys, Danylko’s brothers, greeted us and Danylko just looked at us and went to another room. Then the mother said that he was autistic. I told her about our organization and invited her to join us. Some time passed, and we met in the city by chance. Danylko did not forget us, and we agreed that he would come to visit. Once I asked the mother if they needed some things or other help, I heard her quiet answer, “We would like a blanket for Dan because winter is coming.”
I was focused on helping the children.
I would like them to have a blanket, new and warm, and a pillow, to make them feel comfortable, just like at home. (I don’t even want to imagine what it’s like to go God knows where, leaving everything behind… at home…) And suddenly, I saw an initiative from Goodacity on the Map of Good and immediately thought of Danylko!
When we received a grant for a good thing, the next hour we all went together to buy him a blanket and pillow. Everyone was participating, both the adults and children. There were so many of us, the store was filled with laughter, joy, and all the positive emotions. And we also bought a pillowcase with a Christmas decorations pattern. Danylko chose it himself, he loves those decorations very much! It is difficult to pick words to describe it, the eyes sting with tears. Thanks to those invisible threads and circumstances, we all gave this child some comfort and warmth. I hope that very soon Danylko and his family will return home, and our good deed warms him and leaves good memories of us and our town!”
Good that inspires
“I met Mariya, a girl who came to our town from eastern Ukraine with her mother, in our organization,” Natalya Popova recalls.
“She was cheerful, precocious, she had her vision of things. In April, she was coming to us to help pack gingerbread cookies for our defenders (we bake a lot of them in our classes!) because she couldn’t sit idly in the new apartment. When the school vacations started, Mariya joined our volunteers. So, this 11-year-old girl came to help children and young people in our classes every day all summer long: sometimes she helped draw a picture or craft something, then made tea for everyone.
This is hard work, not every adult can do it. And everything was easy for her, although she had no experience in communicating, let alone working with people with mental disabilities.
After classes, Mariya told me about her life back home: she had been attending art classes and was looking for a chance to continue improving her skills here. We sent one of her paintings to the Ukraine Through Children’s Eyes exhibition in the Czech Republic. That is why this girl was second on the list of good things. At first, Mariya did not believe that it was possible. Then, when we went to buy paint and canvases, she asked, “So can I really take it?” “Yes, you can. It is the day for good deeds, but under one condition: we are waiting for your new masterpiece,” I winked. Neon paints were chosen because Mariyka said that it would be interesting for her to work with them. She is already looking forward to the winter holidays to join our friendly team again and to do good things for people with disabilities!”
Good that gives wings
“Yelyzaveta is a girl from southern Ukraine who encourages everyone with her confidence and strength.
While speaking with her mother, I found out that her daughter had a physical development disorder,” Ms. Natalya says. “Then Yelizaveta visited us at work. She talked about her new class, her classmates, and how she liked reading books. I was pleasantly surprised that the girl read books at a time when young people cannot imagine a day without gadgets! But she already read everything she had with her… So new books for Yelizaveta became the third item on our list of good things.”
“Memories of happy children’s faces keep us warm! I enjoyed Danylko saying, “This is my pillow!” and also smiling! Every word and emotion are a major achievement for an autistic child, it is not easy to get. And we did it! And how memorable was the grateful look of our incredible assistant, Mariya the young artist, who could not believe that it all was for her! And Yelizaveta’s joy with the fact that she can touch a new book and dive into reading with pleasure!”
“Hearty laughter and genuine childish joy inspire doing good again and again. Our sincere thanks to the Goodacity team for this opportunity and incredible pleasure to do good things together!”