Prince Vladimir, Unifier of Peoples
One of the main goals placed before St Vladimir Youth Association is the organization and gathering of young people to works of charity and social service before their compatriots, and work with children. As a way of manifesting these aims, the Association gathered a group of young people in New York on Saturday, June 27, 2015, to participate in the work of the Ronald McDonald House. This is a charitable endeavor which provides housing for families in which children are receiving treatment for cancer in local hospitals. Eighty-four families from all over the world now reside in Ronald McDonald House. As a “home away from home,” psychiatric and moral support is provided, concerts are given and family holidays observed for the children and their parents. Volunteers often help in various projects and events at the House.
The youth were divided into two groups: the first sold books, toys and children’s clothing on the street to benefit RMH. The second group helped organize a “state fair,” which took place from 2-4 pm that day. Despite the rainy weather, the volunteers helped create a Texas town of the 19 th century, where girls wore long dresses and white gloves, and the boys wore cowboy hats and boots. They began by filling 100 gift bags for the children. Books, coloring books and pencils, markers, puzzles, t-shirts and socks filled each. To help create the appearance of 19 th -century America, “farms” were also set up.
His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan also came to impart his archpastoral blessing to the volunteers, and to stress the importance of social service, which strengthens and unites us all around the Gospel commandments of love for one’s neighbor.
At the end of the event, the Association members were given a tour of RMH, and they exchanged contact information in order to participate further in its work. A regular series of volunteer events is planned, in which larger gatherings of youth will participate in charitable work.
Nadezhda Grankina, a participant.