-I’m not rich enough to work for free,- Arina said when I suggested she find a volunteer job.
I thought, ” typical Russian mentality”, and didn’t return to this conversation.
Volunteering is very common in the United States, unlike in Russia. I don’t remember hearing about the volunteer movement in Russia before the pandemic.
During our school years, we were required to visit and help World War II veterans. We didn’t mind helping, but we didn’t take it seriously. We were too young.
During the pandemic in 2020 president Putin from a TV screen praised the volunteers who helped people in different parts of the country.
I was pleased to learn “it’s actually happening”. For 7 years in the US, I got used to volunteers and volunteering. It became normal. I myself volunteered 3 times.
Right now, I am happy to announce that my oldest son has become a volunteer.
The headquarters of assistance to the elderly is based on the Resource Center of Volunteering of the Tomsk region “Boomerang Dobra 70”. It was established in March 2020.
The Resource center is engaged in attracting young people, explaining the goals of volunteering, and coordinating volunteers.
Currently, the headquarters needs help in two areas: buying medicines and food for the elderly and delivering medicines to people who have been diagnosed with covid. If someone has a personal car, he/she can help in transporting medicines to patients and transporting medics to hospitals.
On January 7, my son Slava became a volunteer. In his car, along with another volunteer, he delivered medicine to the people who have contracted COVID-19.
But first he had to prove his knowledge of Tomsk. Slava has owned a driver’s licence for 10 years. Over the years, he became very familiar with the city streets. Therefore, he easily passed the test.
Then he was offered a list of addresses where people were waiting for medicine.
Slava planned the route. His colleague-volunteer called people on the list ahead of time. The volunteer brought a bag of medicine to the door, rang the bell and left. No contact with the sick person.
Within an hour, Slava and his colleague delivered medicines to 12 addresses.
Slava said: “it’s only the beginning”.
I’m proud of him.