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Column 14:50 13 Dec 2021

Not indifferent to someone else's misfortune: year's results for charity

Photo Іnstagram.com/annabutkevych.official

Ukrainians tend not to talk about charity. If you do good deeds, do them quietly, don't show off: you don't do for yourself but others. Only 30% of Ukrainians believe that good deeds are worth talking about. But the fact is that we should talk about charity, first, because by raising this topic publicly, we're forming a culture, bringing the very concept of charity out of the shadows, making it visible and accessible.

According to the World Charity Index, published in June 2021,  more than three in ten adults worldwide donated money to charity in 2020. It's more than the number of donors in the last five years. More than three billion people have helped someone they didn't know personally. And Ukraine was in the top 10 countries with the highest growth in charity, with the index coming out on the 20th position among 114 countries. These numbers are impressive, right? And there's every reason to believe that the results for 2021 will be even stronger.

Charity is a good cause that anyone can join. According to a survey conducted by the Zagoriy Foundation this year, 67% of Ukrainians did charity in 2021. For comparison, in 2019, these figures were 60%.

Researchers say one of the reasons for charity growth in Ukraine is the growth of information support for this phenomenon. And thus forming a charity culture and the information field around it means increasing the involvement of Ukrainians in charitable processes.

Ukrainians are ready to support charity. It's evidenced by the results of a charity initiative held from 1 to 30 November by the All-Ukrainian Charitable Foundation Tabletochki and the company ATB-Market. All-Ukrainian charity initiative "It Concerns Me! And You?" was held in more than 1,200 ATB stores, and anyone who buys products in these supermarkets across the country could join.

Небайдужі до чужого лиха: підсумки року для благодійності Анна Буткевич

Photo: Іnstagram.com/annabutkevych.official

The All-Ukrainian Charitable Foundation ATB is involved in helping children with cancer and is holding this charity, raising funds for the wards of the Tabletochki Foundation, for the second year in a row. Because children are the most precious thing we have. They are our continuation and this world's future. They shouldn't be sick. But, unfortunately, they get sick. Therefore, according to the WHO, 300,000 children are diagnosed with cancer annually. Each of them needs our support. Last year, thanks to this initiative, children in 10 oncology centers in Ukraine received the assistance of over 10 million hryvnias. In 2021, the results of the campaign were even more impressive.

The amount raised during the campaign was announced on November 30 at the Tabletochki Giving Thursday Dinner charity event, where I had the honor of attending and participating in a fundraiser among an incredible number of good people willing to donate to others. So, the funds raised from the purchase of special charity products on the shelves of the ATB supermarket chain amounted to UAH 29.5 million in just one month!

This year's initiative was special not only because of this; it was joined by a record number of celebrities. It's also about contributing to a culture of charity: by their example, thought leaders and celebrities can involve even more people in charity. After all, they have one of the key roles in promoting this phenomenon in society. Oleh Vynnyk, Olha Sumska, Natalia Mohilevska, Olia Poliakova, Zlata Ognievich, DZIDZIO, KAZKA, and others – thanks to them even more people learned about this charity, its importance; about real children it will help; that anyone can be a part of this great good deed. And it's so easy to do just during regular shopping.

Today, not only celebrities can join charity; everyone can become a part of the goodness movement. Celebrities and influencers are just an example. Tabletochki, Golden Glove Award, ATB Foundation are clear examples of how including celebrities promote the charity. But charity isn't just about them. Every good cause consists of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of caring people. Remember the expression that became one of the symbols of the Revolution of Dignity? "I'm a drop in the ocean that will change Ukraine." Any good deed is the ocean. It changes the lives of people who need it so much for the better. The ocean consists of small efforts, of drops, of each of us.

The end of the year is a time to take stock. Undoubtedly, charity and the culture of charity in Ukraine are developing and it cannot be overlooked. But there's still a lot of work ahead and it's just the beginning.

I'm not a surgeon, so I can't save lives in the operating room, but I can buy a respirator for the Okhmatdyt hospital. It's a unique case when you watch with a smile how your money leaves you! When I started doing charity work myself, other roles began to seem less important and sometimes pointless. Now my formula for happiness, along with family and work, has this important link, and I'm convinced that good deeds and helping others are the key to the prosperity of any successful business and the meaning of existence in general.

So far, many people interested in charity are stopped by one thing: lack of information. Our goal is to remove this barrier and show that charity is open to everyone, you just need to find your way to help others. After all, everyone can help. Everyone can save lives. Everyone can do good for others. And it's especially important to remember this now, during the winter holidays when sharing light becomes our most natural task.

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