“We have 56 addresses, we’ll load the cakes now, let’s distribute who will go in which car,” the leader of the volunteer project #We areTogether and director of the Tver Foundation, Yulia Saranova, busily rustled the printout and began to name the names and streets.
A short briefing took place right on the Volga embankment. The wind ruffled the pages with the addresses and the hair of the assembled volunteers, among whom the girls predominated. Interested passers-by peered in and slowed down. Glittering with perky black eyes, Julia gave parting words: “This is a very necessary business, they are waiting for us. It is important for everyone whom we visit today to feel care and attention. If you feel that a person is disposed, ask about health, congratulate on the holidays, talk a little. Be sure to wear masks, wipe your hands with antiseptics. Our visits should only bring joy. “
However, the volunteers in the team are already experienced, and a short speech rather inspired, conveyed that spark with which you need to do a good deed. And volunteers gathered to make Easter cakes for people with disabilities at the request of the Kristall public organization of wheelchair users. The list of addressees also included elderly people, whom the project participants have been actively helping from the very beginning of the pandemic.
When the coordination was complete, the volunteers took apart the boxes with rich fragrant gifts and each set off on their own trajectory. The first address we went to was in the very center of the city, on Novotorzhskaya Street. Despite the fact that the main work of Yulia Saranova as a leader of the movement now lies precisely in coordination, as a true volunteer, she herself delivers food packages. She says she has become attached to this soul and can no longer do otherwise.
Sincerity is, perhaps, the main word that can be used to express the mood of both the team itself and the reaction of everyone to whom the volunteers rang the doorbell that day. People were sincerely happy, tried to give them tea, give something in return. In some places it was even embarrassing: you come to help completely disinterestedly, and in return sweets, pies and such incomparably all-embracing gratitude that there is a desire to devote your life to serving humanity. Now it is clear what noble feelings motivate volunteers and where they get motivation for their activities.
“In addition to Easter cakes from Volzhsky Pekar, we deliver food sets, which we managed to form from products brought by citizens to special boxes installed in Magnit supermarkets,” Julia shared with MK in Tver. – In ten days we managed to collect more than 200 kilograms of food. There are no perishable items, this is a separate important condition for participating in the promotion. We received very good feedback, people ask how else they can help, they strive to do something for those in need. We want to develop this project further so that more than a hundred of our wards can receive this help every month. During the pandemic, we managed to create a real strong, friendly volunteer network, and when we threw a cry into the chat to gather for today’s action, a lot of people responded. Volunteering is like a bonfire: in order to have a flame, you need to throw up firewood, that is, carry out new actions, set new tasks. Then the guys will feel needed and in demand. For this purpose, we are planning to open a permanent center #WeVeTogether.
Indeed, the more the Tver Foundation conducts charitable social events, the wider its social base becomes. It is already possible to say in the affirmative that the same civil society has been formed that consciously strives to make life in their hometown and region better, to help the elderly, families in difficult life situations, people with disabilities.
“It’s very nice that they don’t forget about us on a holiday, because many find it difficult to get out into the street, go to the store or cook some festive dish themselves,” said Anastasia Kondrashova, a member of the “Crystal” association. – Thanks to the volunteers for coming, this is very important.
Note that the volunteer movement in the Tver region over the past year has become really big. It has long outgrown local student amateur activities, people of all ages are joining it, the movement is already reaching the federal level. Thus, the participants of the #WeTogether project suggested Yulia Saranova to nominate herself for the upcoming elections to the State Duma, so that the volunteer initiatives of the region would have a worthy representation. The first step has already been taken. Yulia was registered for the United Russia primaries and can now legally compete with eminent politicians for the right to represent the interests of citizens.