This is a Christmas update from CSUF and Dorosh Heritage Tours in Ukraine.
This year, the Christmas season in Ukraine is different for many reasons and we do not mean war only. Most of us celebrated Christmas on Jan 6/7th. However, this year, many people have decided to do it on Dec 25, according to the Gregorian calendar. It’s a symbolic way to express the alienation from Russia and be part of the European society. The special church services will be taking place on both dates, for those who stick with Jan 6 and those who decide to celebrate on Dec 25.
It is a time of wonders, good deeds, and presents. We thank you for helping us to make this time special for many people who are in need. We are working on it and we still have time till Jan 6.
As I may have said before, this war has affected the poorest the most. The elderly people are among them. To explain, I will tell you about Luba who you can see in the photos below. This is the entrance to her household.
She lives on her own and she must be taken care of. It’s cold and frosty these days and heating is very important.
Luba worked in a brick factory all her life long. She did the manual work to form bricks of clay and carry them to the furnace.
It’s where she damaged her health and she uses a wheelchair today. Her monthly pension is less than 4000UAH which is less than 100USD. She has to buy medications, food, personal care items, pay electricity and heating bills, and more.
Although she has natural gas, she cannot afford to use it to heat her house as it’s too expensive. Using an electric heater would make her bills too high as well. Luba uses woodfire and you can see the furnace in her room:
We have delivered some to her and it will help her go through the winter. It will be chopped and taken to the house by the state social care worker so that Luba can use it easily. Luba is one of many we have kept helping this way.
We have also bought a chainsaw for the local state social care department to cut the fire wood for other seniors that we supply it for:
Some people can’t afford to pay their monthly electric bills and their power has been disconnected. They heat their houses with firewood, use candles, and cook on furnaces. We are working to pay as many of these past-due bills as possible, have power reconnected, and pay the ongoing invoices to the end of winter for those that are the most needy.
With a pension that is less than 100 USD monthly, lonely elderly people can’t afford many basic things these days. We have collected Christmas food packages for 170 seniors:
One includes rice, buckwheat, cheese, sunflower oil, chocolate, pate, condensed milk, sausage, and oranges. They are already being delivered and distributed at the time when you read this message.
Space heaters are good presents for those who get subsidized by the state and can afford to use the electricity. However, it’s only an additional source that can be used when there’s power supply.
We have also bought a present for the seniors who stay in the local geriatric home. It’s a special lift that will make their lives and the lives of the staff so much easier. We have chosen one with an accumulator which will work at the time of blackouts as well.
It is already on the way and it’ll be delivered to the geriatric center right before Christmas.
Yes, we keep supporting the military and we will tell you more in further updates, as well as provide more pictures of our special Christmas presents.
Thank you for your ongoing support. You are making a difference. You have made some wonderful Christmas presents for many people this year.
Merry Christmas from Ukraine!
З Різдвом Христовим та Щасливого Нового року!
CSUF and DHT team of volunteers.