Thursday, March 16, 2023

    UOC of the USA offers seasonal gifts to children of wounded, fallen Ukrainian soldiers

    On December 19, 2022, the children from de-occupied territories of Ukraine received a momentary reprieve from their hunger, cold and fear, as they gathered within the warm walls of the Kyiv Orthodox Theological Academy to receive the gifts left them by St. Nicholas (Svyatij Mykolaj).

    That’s according to the press service of the UOC of the USA.

    Thanks to the generous donations of the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, with the blessing of Metropolitan Antony, the Prime Hierarch, Archbishop Daniel was able to transfer not only funds, but fun, to the children who so desperately need a glimmer of hope, and a return to the innocent excitement of childhood.

    Working in conjunction with the UkrTransNafta employee charitable fund “Hardened Hearts” and the American charitable organization “Help Heroes of Ukraine”, the artistic agency “Territory A” organized the event within Academy’s facilities.

    Metropolitan Epifaniy, Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, joyfully addressed the children gathered before him.  Many of the youngsters had lost their fathers who had died in battle against the invading Russian forces.  These children have come to expect tragedy and terror and were moved to hear about the kindness and generosity of St. Nicholas, and all the miracles he had performed.  As they sat mesmerized, their mouths open in wonder at the marvels wrought by Mykolaj, they were asked to approach and receive a generous gift left for them.

    The children received backpacks filled with goodies – chocolates, fruit, and toys.  Thanks to the generous donations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA over 200 Samsung Galaxy tablets had been purchased and gifted to these children.  On this day the children who had experienced far more tragedy than they should have in their young lives, were able to put aside their fear and uncertainty and freely mingle with each other, laugh and play, and now thanks to the tablets, explore the world at their fingertips.

    There is strength in numbers, and this year, all the children of Ukraine have one wish, one desire – peace for Ukraine.  With so many young hearts, joining the adults in prayer to the Lord, with the intercession of Saint Nicholas, peace must be just around the corner.

    May the Lord hear the prayers and petitions of the young, and the young at heart, and grant victory to Ukraine and peace for the nation for generations to come.   May the children live in a free Ukraine, where they can also enjoy the twinkling lights of Christmas and in wonder gaze up at the Christmas star and await the miracles of the season.