By Yulia Mitro, LA region volunteer
There is nothing stronger than the heart of a person who helps others. Currently, there are millions of volunteers around the globe who are willing to help in disasters, donate blood, reconnect lost family members, and more. There are limitless opportunities to make people’s life better within the Red Cross.
And I am one of them. My name is Yulia. I volunteer because I found something amazingly satisfying about acting in a way that is in sync with my principles. Being able to say I made somebody’s life better, gives meaning to my being here beyond simply looking after myself. For me, it changes my life from being self-centered to being someone with meaning for others, too. I volunteer because I feel myself as a part of being a human being. I think we were born to help one another. Help comes in many forms, and I believe that volunteering is one way to accomplish what we are supposed to accomplish in this lifetime. Bottom line, it just feels good inside to give unconditionally. I recently have started
to volunteer for the Red Cross West Los Angeles branch. I moved to Los Angeles three years ago from Russia and I would like to share with you what our Russian colleagues are doing for Red Cross.
The Russian Red Cross is playing a great role in helping nearby countries in need of humanitarian assistance. Russian volunteers have been working hard since 2014, when the conflict in Ukraine started. During those first days, the Russian Red Cross branch distributed 163 tons of food to the conflicted areas. People left their homes under the pressure of heavy shelling. The places they used to live were donated to the Russian Red Cross to accommodate and help people in need. The Russian Red Cross has been in cooperation with local authorities, organizing shelters and other basic necessities.
There are many Russian and Ukrainian volunteers who are helping people. One example is Margarita Pak, who is a great inspiration for the Red Cross Volunteers. She is an 86 year old volunteer from Ukraine who decided not to leave her home. Instead, she helps and teaches the Red Cross volunteers to sew bed-linens for fellow countrymen and women fleeing the Ukrainian conflict back home.
At present, 65,000 people have fled from Ukraine due to the conflict. For some Ukrainians who wants to set up a new home in Russia, the Russian Red Cross branch is helping them with immigration and accommodation to live in Russia.