We all know that on 24 February the lives of millions of Ukrainians divided into BEFORE and AFTER. On that terrible day we woke up to the words: “War has begun.” Right after the first sirens, I traveled home from the Collegium. The first days were very frightening, but then I understood that you can’t just sit and wring your hands, and I decided to find some work for myself. I did a lot of volunteering before the war, but now volunteering has become an even bigger part of my life. What exactly do I do? I have many responsibilities. I volunteer with the organization Drohobych SOS: Help the Army in my hometown of Drohobych and in my grandmother’s village, Ranevychy. We weave camouflage nets, prepare food for our defenders, bake pies, cookies, and collect humanitarian aid for soldiers, and then we pass all this along to conflict areas. Sometimes I sort and pack aid for people who have come to us from places where military actions are happening. Last time we collected clothes for orphans who have come to our children’s building. We receive parcels with items from various countries: Poland, Italy, Spain… Our people are helping very much. All the time I’m impressed how, not knowing what tomorrow will bring, today they are ready to give their last. This is why I remain home and am helping my homeland.
There is a very nice quote: “When you take, you fill your hand; when you give, you fill your heart.” Being an ordinary UCU student, I can’t directly take part in defending Ukraine on the military front. But I can happily support other fronts, informational and non-informational. When I volunteer, I feel that I’m needed, that I also, perhaps, with small steps, am bringing our country closer to victory. When I’m doing something, I don’t sit all day inside four walls and I don’t flip through the news feed, and I’m not paying attention to sirens and time. I can do whatever. And this distracts me from sad thoughts. I’m an optimist and always try to find positives in everything.
“If we don’t do it, who will?” These words inspire me to volunteer every day. I don’t need “to revive”; on the contrary, I consider that, helping our army, I relax. Volunteering takes up almost all my free time after studies, so I don’t have time to be sad or tired.
To tell the truth, I wrote a list of my dreams which I’ll fulfill when the war finishes. Right away I’ll go to my dear Collegium and return to happy student life. First we’ll celebrate our victory with Kyiv torte on Khutorivka. I promise myself that I’ll do what I was afraid to do before. Because of the war, I understood that I only have one life and you need to do what you want now. Because otherwise you’ll never be able to do it.