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An 11-year-old boy works to help the AFU

Illustration: #OlehGryshchenko


A year before the start of the full-scale war, Maksym read a book where a girl helped her family in a difficult financial situation by walking the neighbor's dog and receiving money for it. In March 2022, 11-year-old Maksym and his mother were forced to move from the city of Pokrovsk, Donetsk Oblast, to Chernivtsi. Far from home, the family was trying to figure out how to live on and at the same time help the country defend itself from Russia.

Maksym decided to act like the protagonist of his favorite book: he posted 13 ads around the district, where he offered neighbors to bring them water, take out garbage or walk their pets. He promised to transfer the money for the work to the Armed Forces of Ukraine, because he hoped to fundraise for one bulletproof vest. The next day people called with the first order, and later Maksym's announcement spread across social networks. The calls didn’t stop, many people just transferred money to the boy.

There were also romantic side jobs: once a military man asked Maksym to buy and present a bouquet of flowers to his wife. The woman was surprised and touched by this gesture.

The warm reaction of the residents of Chernivtsi allowed Maksym to purchase not one, but as many as 25 bulletproof vests, a thermal imager and a night vision device. And also transfer 50,000 hryvnas (about 1,300 dollars) for the rehabilitation of a Ukrainian soldier who lost a leg in the battles.

The war changed Maksym and his attitude to life. Now his only goal is to help the country, and the boy admits to his mother that he feels not 11 years old, but 21 years old.


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