Moscow, April 26, 2021
The Russian Orthodox Church has opened 6 humanitarian aid centers in various regions of Russia over the past month, and another center will open early next month. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church also opened a center in Kiev over the weekend.
Over the past 9 years, the number of Church aid centers has grown from 66 to 218, most of them opened with the support of the Synodal Department for Charity and Social Services, the Department reports.
The centers help all those who find themselves in difficult situations—large families, single mothers, the homeless, people with disabilities, the elderly, fire victims, etc. The centers provide food, clothing, hygiene kits, strollers, cribs, and other necessary items free of charge.
The number of appeals for help to the centers throughout the country has grown significantly during the pandemic, and the Synodal Department aims to open an humanitarian aid center at least in every major city.
Since June of last year, the Department has raised more than $346,700 (26 million rubles) for food aid to those in need in 73 dioceses in 6 countries: Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, East Timor, and the Philippines.
The Church has also partnered with the Rus Food Fund and Gloria Jeans to provide much needed food and clothing to thousands of needy people and families.
On Saturday, the Synodal Department for Social and Humanitarian Issues of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church opened a center for assistance to the needy in Kiev on the territory of the Resurrection Cathedral, which is currently under construction.
The center will provide daily clothing, food, and medicine, as well as medical and legal assistance. It will also host seminars and training for those who wish to become volunteers.