Updated: Mar 26, 2022
In December of 2021, Girls Education Nation was able to provide holiday food baskets to twenty elderly women living in the Minusinsk region.
Not every USSR veteran fought in combat. Many were the unwilling participants of an invisible war—dedicating their lives to ensure that soldiers had something to eat, had something to wear, and had something to fight with. These “Children of War” were in the fields as young as five years old, helping their families meet set quotas.
They are not children anymore.
Since then, many years later, we wanted to remind them that they’re not alone.
Thanks to the financial contributions of our supporters, our volunteers were able to deliver gifts and cheer to 20 veterans. The food baskets were filled with everyday products and more than a few chocolate bars—everyone enjoys chocolate! However, these food baskets were only one part of the Veteran’s Christmas project.
It was incredibly important to us that our volunteers also spend some time together with the veterans to share stories.
“It was a great opportunity to see these incredible people laughing and smiling,” said one of our volunteers.
For others, like 22-year old Elizabeth, “getting advice on how to be happy in life despite hardship” was the boost she needed to realize that happiness is a choice. She has been going through some challenges in her own family; it has been hard to intentionally cherish the relationships she has with her family. However,
“Talking to these women showed me that there’s nothing more important than my family, and I’ll do my best to be honest with my parents. That is what one of the ladies told me, when I asked her if she has any regrets in her life,” said Elizabeth.
We initially planned the Veteran’s Christmas project as a way to support those in need. But, in the end, we were the ones who benefited the most—from seeing the smiling, happy faces to the endless wisdom they shared with us.
We wanted to surprise the veterans, but in the end, we were surprised at our volunteers’ dedication and willingness to help. We wanted to do something good and valuable for our community, and ended up opening a door to endless ideas and possibilities that will change our community for years to come.