Moscow; Sumy, Ukraine, April 13, 2018
The faithful of the Russian and Ukrainian Orthodox Churches opened their hearts and their wallets throughout Great Lent to offer considerable monetary and food donations to the sick and the poor.
While Christians are called to acts of charity at all times, Great Lent is typically considered a time to be especially mindful of those in need.
The Sumy Diocese of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church held its 8th annual “Bright Deeds for the Bright Day” charity event, raising $33,116 (867,211 Ukrainian hryvnia) for children with cancer in the northeastern Ukrainian Sumy Province, reports the Sumy Diocese.
The Ukrainian faithful raised nearly $4,000 (100,000 hryvnia) more than last year. The results of the charity drive were announced on Wednesday at a press conference dedicated to the fundraiser.
“Bright Deeds for the Bright Day” has been held annually during Lent since 2011 by the initiative of the Sumy Diocese and the Sumy branch of the Ukrainian Telecommunications Company. Donations are collected at churches, charity concerts, fairs, and by individuals and organizations.
The organizing committee is currently compiling a list of medicines to be purchased with the funds collected.
Meanwhile, more than 75,000 needy children received free Lenten products throughout Russia during the Great Fast thanks to the “Invest Your Heart Into a Great Deed” charity drive, reports Foma.
96 tons of Lenten foods made by “Lyubyatovo” were sent to the “Rus’” provisions foundation to help poor families with children from ten Russian regions, and were then distributed to social service centers, non-profit organizaitons, and churches throughout Lent until Holy Saturday.
“Needy families with children are the main category that the foundation helps throughout the country… Handing out free delicious products, we see the smiles of the children, the joy, and an immediate surge of gratitude in response to our concern,” said the head of the “Rus’” foundation Viktoria Krisko.
“Rus’” is the country’s first food bank, founded in 2012, providing food and non-food assistance to socially vulnerable categories of Russians.