Helping the Homeless in Ukraine
By: Adriana Klopfer, Work and Travel Partner Relations Manager
In CCI Greenheart’s Work and Travel department, we thought “Why not? Let’s go big!” So we polished off the end of the year for the Going Greenheart Tour 2013 by taking volunteerism global. The tour‘s final Greenheart Project was a clothing drive held in Kiev, Ukraine. American employers carried their contributions across the Atlantic and created an offering in conjunction with students that they interviewed.
Our employers had the unique opportunity to present their donations directly to the Ukrainian Charity Fund (UCF) and then tour the facility. The UCF offers an array of free services to Ukraine’s homeless and elderly; including laundry, legal, medical, salon and various classes.
The UCF’s director shared an anecdote that she was asked to do yoga with the homeless and when they took off their shoes it was quite bad. Kiev’s homeless are in greatest need of socks and underwear because people, in general, are ashamed to donate these items.
Clothing recipients can take as many clothes from the UCF as they would like, once every two weeks. If clothes are in need of repair, recipients can mend their donations or current belongings in the on-site clothing-repair center.
The UCF also runs an art studio for the homeless to express their talents. With a grant from George Soros, they were able to purchase painting supplies. The chief manager of the art studio was formerly homeless for three years. He was in debt, lost everything, and left his family. He worked with wood and started painting at the art studio for the first time in his life. Now he is celebrity in Ukraine and can often see him on TV.
Check out pictures from our donations, tour of the Ukrainian National Fund, and Job Fair. Everyone at CCI Greenheart would like to give a very special thanks to our overseas partner for organizing the Greenheart Project portion of our Job Fair. We can’t wait to see this good will continue with the participants as they start their program in the summer and join the Greenheart Club!