Every year on May 9 we celebrate the Day of Great Victory. Perhaps this date has touched every family, and therefore will always occupy a special place in our hearts. On this day, we remember the real heroes. Those who fell in that terrible war and who managed to survive. Those people who are an example of heroism and dedication. We owe them forever. However, we only remember veterans one day a year, pretending that they do not need our care and our help at other times. But this is not so, and we simply must correct this situation.
Nowadays, veterans are increasingly lacking the usual attention and communication with those whom they saved. Of course, in the first place we are talking about youth. Meanwhile, it is the veterans who know firsthand what war is, are the guardians of memory and knowledge of the Great Patriotic War and most of all need care. Our task is to protect these elderly and very brave people, to surround them with our attention not only on the Victory Day, sacred for each of us, but on all other days. After all, helping veterans is our duty to them and to our homeland.
How to help veterans?
It’s getting harder and harder for our heroes to clean their homes: wash windows, balconies, chandeliers, take out heavy garbage, etc. From here the first and easiest way appears - to help the veterans in the household. It is very important to study the circumstances of the life of veterans, their needs and try to provide assistance in accordance with them. If the situation is very difficult, then support should be provided as often as possible - at least once a week.
Separately, in forums and through charitable foundations, it is possible to organize fundraising for which to purchase televisions, refrigerators, hearing aids for veterans and medicines. It is extremely important to help with food packages, because the state practically does not provide material assistance to veterans. And of course, you can just ask about the needs of the veterans themselves and try to help in a sensitive issue.
However, it should be noted that in our time, veterans, like many older people, are very careful about outsiders who offer their help for free. Of course, this is suspicious. Many simply lost the habit of good. In this regard, it is important to establish work with social workers in urban services who visit veterans. This will help melt the ice and build trust.
However, getting lists of veterans is not an easy task. Often information has to be collected literally bit by bit. You can find the information you need by contacting your city’s social support service, charity funds, or on the Internet, where you can ask special veterans to report veterans, for example, living in the neighborhood. And already having such lists, you can begin to organize assistance to veterans.
Communication is the most important thing
I would also like to dwell on the importance of communication and attention to veterans. This is perhaps the most important thing that older people need, who often feel they are not needed and forgotten. Many of them are lonely and moral support will often be much more important than material. In their memory invaluable knowledge is stored, which they want to share, show photos, tell frontline stories and just treat them to tea. And this is the beginning of a whole friendship between generations. Young people will be able to learn the stories of veterans and what they went through. This is useful because it instills patriotism, respect for elders, hard work and courage.
In conclusion, I want to say that one of the main tasks of youth should be the desire to make life as comfortable and worthy as possible for those people who, at the cost of incredible efforts, defended our homeland and thanks to whom we live today.
The Archangel Michael Foundation sincerely thanks those who, not sparing themselves, fought for all of us. We are eternally indebted to veterans and are obliged to do at least the least that is in our power to show our gratitude and respect!
1. Give thanks
When meeting and communicating with a veteran, thank him for the meeting, his time, stories, demonstrating the value of this communication for you personally. Translate the traditional pathos “Thank you for the victory” into ordinary human language. Veterans are not monuments of victory, not eternal lights and not bouquets of carnations - they are living people, each of them has a unique life experience related not only to war.
2. Support emotionally - give communication
Talk about life, about family, about interests and hobbies. Listen to a long story with repetitions and lyrical digressions. Take advice without annoyance. Chat heart to heart, do not translate the conversation only into the memories of the military past. It is heroic, but it is also painful. It, including in repeated retelling, accompanies a person all his life. Maybe he wants to tell you about his beloved cat, or retell the series of the 90s - take this with respect, ask questions.
3. Spread the story of a veteran
Write an article, story, book about a veteran. Finding a newspaper or website where it will be located is not so difficult today. Work on such a story will bring the veteran joy and a sense of self-worth. In the process, be careful, ask permission to describe or publish certain facts - very often an elderly person has his own idea of what is permissible. It is better to make sure that the veteran has a printed version of your common work in his hands - this is especially true if he does not use the Internet.
4. Scan and print beautiful photos
The veteran can have family photos, pictures of fellow soldiers. Ask them to scan, and print large photographs, frame them, or make a photo album. The veteran will be pleased to see these photos in a new quality, to show friends and family.
5. Send a postcard or parcel
The case when electronic communications will not replace the “Russian Post”. Elderly people are pleased to receive paper letters, beautiful cards with handwritten text and real parcels. Congratulations on holidays and write just like that. You can put pleasant trifles, sweets, objects for decorating the interior, comfortable clothes in the parcel. You can also find out what exactly a person likes.
You are always victorious, veterans
I remember how in childhood I argued with classmates who would be honored to help veterans and participants in the Great Patriotic War, and in Soviet times there were a lot of them. The classes took patronage over them, carried firewood, water, weed beds and were very proud of this "Timurovsky" movement. Now I’m thinking: but for the elderly war veterans, for happiness, it was just to talk with us, to tell “about the conflagration battles, about friends and comrades”. We absorbed their stories better than information from textbooks and encyclopedias. And for some reason then it seemed that these people would always be there ...
On the eve of Easter in Smolevichi met with a mourning procession. I didn’t understand at once why the Belarusian flag was being carried, where many military men came from. It turned out that veteran of the Great Patriotic War Sergey Antonovich Lashuk, one of the 15 Belarusians, whom in 2015 the President of China Xi Jinping personally presented the Peace Medal for the liberation of China from Japan, was escorted to the last journey.
I understand that due to age and health conditions, those to whom we are grateful for life are becoming less and less every day. As of April 1, there were 6,250 of them in Belarus. Of these, 3848 are disabled and participants in the war, including two Heroes of the Soviet Union - Vasily Michurin, who will turn 103 in July, and 95-year-old Ivan Kustov. But I want them to celebrate yet another Victory Day more than once. And to each of them our deep bow and immeasurable gratitude. They were and remain a special category of people that needs attention, care and support.
Now in each district there are veteran and volunteer organizations. They are primarily interested in the problems of veterans, help solve various social problems. And help, which is important, is provided not only on the eve of the holidays. For example, at any time of the year you can improve your health in Belarusian sanatoriums for free, Belprofsoyuzkurort provides vouchers. And from June 1 to July 1, one-time financial assistance will be provided to a separate category of people, which includes more than 21 thousand people: rear veterans, defenders of Leningrad, those who participated in mine clearance, and former juvenile prisoners. On the occasion of the 75th anniversary of liberation, each veteran and participant in the Great Patriotic War will be awarded a jubilee medal. For a certain time, special offers from trade and service organizations will operate. Some will provide services to war veterans and disabled people absolutely free, others - at a discount of 20 to 95 percent. Discounts will also be provided by hairdressers, baths, laundries, photo shops, shoe repair shops and even jewelry. Signalers have their own gifts by May 9 - free long-distance calls in Belarus, special tariffs for mobile communications with a purely symbolic payment. On the eve of May 9, representatives of enterprises, organizations, student groups traditionally visit their veterans with congratulations. What help will come in handy yet? I think that gratitude, warmth, communication, an invitation to visit ...
Recently I had a chance to chat with 92-year-old Ivan Stepanovich Feoktistov from Krichev. Instead of the estimated hour, we talked more than two. And if not for the late evening, one could still communicate. After the death of his wife, he lives alone, but admits that the doors of his apartment do not close. Either schoolchildren come from the military enlistment office or the district executive committee. Often invited to concerts. He showed a stack of greeting cards, gifts. I am grateful that many household chores were undertaken by social workers. They’ll go to the store, they’ll bring medicines, recently new wallpapers have been taped. And he admitted that he was looking forward to the next Victory Day in order to meet with the same veterans and walk with them in a column along Mogilev ...
8. Invite an honored guest
A veteran can be invited not only to a thematic event dedicated to the war, but also to a regular concert, exhibition, holiday. You can once again recall that in addition to the military past, a person has a profession, family, interests, hobbies, unique experience. Maybe you have a talented artist, a woodcarver, a storyteller, an inventor - ask him about life, hold an informal meeting with young people, ask for opinions on pressing issues, and ask for life advice.
9. Join volunteer organizations
The Charity Fund “Old Age in Joy” helps elderly people, among whom there are veterans, children of war, prisoners of camps - unfortunately, many of them live their lives in nursing homes. You can join trips and promotions by registering on the site. On May 9, holiday trips will be organized, but you can constantly help veterans, make trips, organize holidays, communicate and send packages with this fund.
The veterans are assisted by the All-Russian Victory Volunteers Society. You can join various promotions, both timed to May 9 and permanent, on the site.
10. Transfer funds to a charity fund
Help with money is also very important and necessary, especially if there is no time to help with business.
For example, the “Memory of Generations” Foundation, whose president is the world's first woman-cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, launches the charity event “Red Carnation” from May 1. To take part in it, you can buy an icon from one of the partners of the promotion or support it with a money transfer. The necessary funds are individually purchased for the collected funds, medical equipment, rehabilitation support is provided to war veterans.
Other charitable foundations that help veterans can also be supported.