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Volunteering at the age of 78

Illustration: #MashaFoya

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Volunteering can be transmitted from one person to another just like a positive virus: first, Kyiv volunteers helped Anatoliy, whose house was bombed by the Russians, and then the pensioner himself joined the benefactors.

Anatoliy has lived in the Bobrovytsia neighborhood in the eastern part of Chernihiv for 45 years. When the Russian army bombarded the city, the 78-year-old man hid in a cellar near his house. When an enemy shell hit the site, it destroyed both the house and the basement—Anatoliy was left without a roof over his head.


In April 2022, the Russians retreated from Chernihiv Oblast, and the long-awaited humanitarian aid began to be brought to the city. Oksana, one of the volunteers, drew attention to Anatoliy: he was timid and didn’t manage to take the necessary things. Oksana took the pensioner aside and asked what had happened. The next time Anatoliy was warned: "A surprise is waiting for you." The man thought it was about food (there was still a lack of food in Chernihiv), but Oksana and volunteers from Kyiv brought him a modular house. Anatoliy's legs buckled because he was so surprised by the unexpected gift.


To thank and help other people, the old man decided to join the volunteer movement himself. He unloads cars with humanitarian aid, and cleans the place, where people can receive humanitarian aid. In general, he isn’t afraid of work because it makes Anatoliy's life more exciting and allows him to communicate with young people. It also distracts him from thoughts that at the age of 78, the troops of a neighboring country can take away from a person everything he has built during his life.

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