Kiev, December 24, 2020
Thousands of children and adults received gifts from St. Nicholas in Ukraine this year as part of a number of festive charity events of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Hierarchs, clergy, and laity of all dioceses visited boarding houses, orphanages, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, low-income families, and the sick, reports Orthodox Life.
The largest event was held in by the Irshava youth organization of the Mukachevo Diocese, which packed and distributed 12,450 gifts and offered targeted assistance to more than 2,000 families. With the support of benefactors from throughout Ukraine, the children prepared gifts based on letters written by children in difficult situations, as well as candy and stationery sets. The youngest children were also given hygiene products, clothing, and food.
His Eminence Metropolitan Clement of Nizhyn presented 300 holiday gifts to the pupils of the Borzna Lyceum and another 270 to the Niznyn children’s home.
More than 300 children received gifts from the UOC’s Synodal Department for Social and Humanitarian Issues. Thanks to the support of caring people, the Department was able to arrange festive events for large and poor families, families raising children with disabilities, displaced families, and a youth rehabilitation center,
More than 200 gifts from His Eminence Metropolitan Luke of Zaporozhye were given to children of soldiers in eastern Ukraine, poor parishioners, and children with disabilities. The main goal of the feast of St. Nicholas, he reminded all, “is that every person must strive for the main goal—to always live with God.” This means “to love each other, to help each other, to have compassion, to care for another, and perform deeds of mercy.”
The Church of All Warrior Saints in Kiev sent gifts, including candy, fruit, and warm clothes, 180 children with disabilities living in boarding houses in the cities of Kremennaya and Schastaya in the Lugansk Province.
The Thabor charitable fund also gave gifts to 13 rural parochial schools in different regions of Ukraine. Each school received a set of 18 Orthodox children’s books to help the children learn the basics of Orthodoxy. 40 Sunday Schools received such book sets from Thabor throughout the entire year.
The Social-Humanitarian Synodal Department also recently announced a Christmas fundraiser for gifts for orphans being brought up in institutions near the demarcation line in the Donetsk and Lugansk Provinces. The Department hopes to raise funds for 564 gift sets that will include candy and toys.