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Joint charity event of Leonid Chernovetskiy and Segodnya

New gifts.Segodnya readers donated boxfulls of linen, medicines, shoes and toys.

Although the St. Nicholas Day has passed, “15 Good Deeds”, the initiative of Segodnya newspaper, continues. Readers keep brining gifts for children from 15 children’s homes, which we described during the last two months. As we have mentioned, the children’s dreams came true thanks to the help from private and public organisations, football clubs and, of course, ordinary people of Ukraine. Today we will tell you about the new gifts for the kids and how happy they were to get them.

Kharkov region. Kiev’s ex-mayor Leonid Chernovetskiy joined our initiative. When he saw in our newspaper photographs of children who live near his home town of Kharkov, he decided to help them. This week, 500 sets of bed linen were donated to the Komarovskaya boarding school for orphans.

Many kids in this institution cannot walk, they spend a lot of time in their beds. “Obviously, one would prefer to sleep on a new bed sheet than on a patched one,” says Artem Makeev, president of the all-Ukrainian charity foundation Social Partnership (Chernovetskiy is the Honorary President of the Foundation). “I’m glad that your newspaper wrote about this boarding school. It is great when children get candy, oranges, etc. But we have already had three Santas visiting us and there are three more to come tomorrow! I guess we now have a two-month stock of candy, but is this what the boarding school really needs? I wish more people would call boarding schools before they did anything and ask, ‘What do you need? How can we help you?’ “

Medicines for Solnyshko. Children from the Kiev region received gifts too. In Boguslav’s children’s home Obereg we brought sneakers, boots, MP-3 and MP-4 players. Solnyshko (Burty village) got clothing, shoes, origami paper, etc. And soon the children’s home will get another important gift. “Thank you for letting people know about the children’s homes in the middle of nowhere. After all, often they are short of even the basic stuff, like bandages and thermometers!” says Alexey Yatsyuk, CSR manager of Pharmak. “For example, thanks to you we learned that the children’s home Solnyshko is in need of many medical items. We decided to help and donated medicines that the children’s home needs so desperately.” Honda Civic Club and Tactic Publicity advertising agency also decided to support the initiative and sent gifts to the children’s home. “We did not believe that you will ever come to see us again,” that’s how we were greeted in many children’s homes. Unfortunately, the photos cannot express even part of the thrill the kids felt when they received gifts from our readers. You should have seen how happy the children were! How hard they cuddled boxes with dolls and toy cars! Blushing and nervous, many children asked if they could get telephone numbers of those who helped their dreams come true, so they could personally say thank you. And some of the children were so overwhelmed they just burst into tears.

ODESSA. “Is this for me?”, said 13-year-old Arthur. The boy from Odessa’s boarding school for orphans could not believe that a brand new bike from Natalia from Kiev now belongs to him. The kid just burst into tears. His friend also named Arthur got a Dynamo branded scarf and sock cap, as well as a cap with the Shakhtar logo. “Wow, dreams come true!” exclaimed Arthur. Aglow with happiness, the boys rushed to hug and jump. They couldn’t believe that complete strangers cared about them. They could not believe that the whole country saw their picture: “Are we like heroes now?”

DNEPROPETROVSK. In the lobby of the boarding school, we were met by 11-year-old Igor Chernikov, who was on his way to his group in a wheelchair. A month ago, he told Segodnya that he wants to become a prosecutor, and that he would like to get a robot as a New Year present. Now, seeing the two huge bags of gifts, the boy looked at us with excitement. “Yes, Igor, a robot from Kiev came to see you!” was our answer to the child’s silent question, and we also said that the gift came from Kiev prosecutor Nikolay Beskishky, who was eager to help once he heard that the boy wants to become a prosecutor. Igor made a sharp turn in his wheelchair and raced down the corridor. “Guys! A prosecutor gave me a robot! There are two bags full of gifts, enough for everyone!” the boy was breaking the wonderful news, stopping at each room.

LVOV. By the time the St. Nicholas Day has come, Lvov’s children’s home #1 was flooded with gifts from our readers. Some of the youngest heroes of our “15 Good Deeds” campaign (up to 7 years of age) received everything they had ordered, and even more. You should have seen their eyes glowing with happiness! “I knew that St. Nicholas really exists! He brought me not only boxing gloves, which I had dreamed of, but also a real punching bag”, 7-year-old Yuri said with glee.

CRIMEA. “I only asked for a ball, but I also got a railroad! I didn’t even dare dream of such a thing!” said happy Sasha from Evpatoria’s boarding school for children with cardiovascular diseases. Children from the Chernyshevsky children’s home were also delighted. Besides toys and household appliances, the institution now has access to Internet: the money to set it up came from Rustam Temirgaliev, a member of the Supreme Council of the Crimea. Our campaign has inspired our colleagues from news agencies and TV channels, with whom we arranged another event under the motto “Happiness Exists!” Thanks to the Crimea’s Good Samaritans, 5,000 hryvnias have been raised for the children’s social and psychological rehabilitation centre in Armiansk. The money helped to buy two heaters, a boiler and 200 bulbs. Moreover, sponsors bought mattresses and bed linen, and students of the Vernadsky Tauride National University prepared gifts and handmade cards for everyone.

DONBASS. Soon after our article was published, the children’s home in Snezhnoye was visited by yoga coaches from Prana health centre in Donetsk. They brought warm sock hats and scarves, and also gave a wushu class. A qigong coach told the children about legendary masters of Shaolin and showed basic wushu movements. Then there was a tea party with candy for everyone (of course, the candy was a gift too). “The children in this institution are very friendly and considerate with each other,” says Svetlana, a coach from Prana centre. “There was a girl who was late for the tea party and the class, and the other children were very unselfish and left sweets for her. The kids there are very talented. They don’t waste time behind a computer, they get creative, they do theatricals, break-dance, even though they don’t have any dance or acting classes… I can’t believe Snezhnoye doesn’t have teachers who could come visit these children? At least once a week!”

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