[Photo Courtesy of the Euro-Asia Division]
Russia | Elena Kopylova

On January 10, more than a thousand residents of the Odintsovo district of Moscow received fruit as a New Year's gift, which were purchased by the Adventist Development & Relief Agency (ADRA) and the Seventh-day Adventist Christian community Kuntsevo-Odintsovo.

During the pandemic, of course, festive performances and festivities cannot be crowded, and it is not recommended for some categories of citizens to visit public places at all - these are those with special needs, large families, and senior citizens. The activists of the Odintsovo Public Chamber and the local branch of the all-Russian public organization of small and medium-sized businesses took care of them. 

The volunteers of ADRA joined the New Year's charity event and bought fruit for ₽60,000 (US $804), and Kuntsevo-Odintsovo invested another ₽30,000 (US $402) in juicy fruits. All-day long, volunteers put apples, lemons, tangerines, pomegranates, and persimmons, as well as handmade toys made in social workshops, in boxes.

A team of young people led by Igor Kirichenko, pastor of the Kuntsevo community, delivered part of the gifts to the addresses on the eve of the New Year; the rest of the sets were handed out through Jan. 10 by a group led by Sergei Grigorash, head of the ADRA Health Department and Adventist Opportunity Ministry.

“We wanted children and adults to eat not only sweets but also healthy fruits for the holiday because everyone now needs vitamins so much,” says Grigorash. “Once others heard about our work in Odintsovo, we were approached by organizations helping children with disabilities from the city of Korolev.”

Gigorash shared this request with those who organized fitness for young people, they quickly raised funds, and they were able to buy 360 kg (794 lb) of apples to add fruits to the New Year's boxes for children and pensioners in Korolev. 

“The volunteers were also able to help present gifts on the streets, where they told children and their parents about a healthy lifestyle and gave them bright magnets with a list of the eight principles of health."

The action was filmed by several news channels, and the report, "A Fairy Tale Comes Home" was aired on Mir 24. The administration of the city of Odintsovo and organizations working with people with disabilities praised the help of benefactors to children and handed letters of thanks to the participants.

This article was originally published on the Euro-Asia Division’s news site