The Heart to Heart action is already one year old. It was then that its initiator, stylist Natalia Balabanova, proposed her friends, acquaintances, and all concerned Kyivans to collect toys and pass them to orphanages in Kyiv and Kyiv oblast. Of course, some of the clients of Natalia’s Beauty Salon remained indifferent to the action, though they had every opportunity to learn about it while waiting for their turn to make a stylish coiffure. There also were some mass media that refused to cover this alleged publicity stunt. However, some came to make their small contribution or told about the action in their newspapers or on television channels, so that all willing to help knew where they should turn. The result is quite visible: as The Day has reported earlier, a number of orphanages were already expecting Natalia’s visit. The Vorzel Orphanage wardens were waiting for it most eagerly, since they are under her special patronage. Natalia makes them surprises even for the collective birthday parties, not to mention traditional New Year’s festivities.
Those going there for the first time notice only the old walls and the playground in bad need of paint. It looks like no construction work has ever taken place in the Vorzel Orphanage since it was founded seventy years ago. The need to remodel the playground arose long ago, it being not a whim but a constituent of a child’s harmonious development. The house itself also needs major repairs, which also gives the teachers serious concern. However, for Natalia Balabanova, who came once again to bring presents to the Vorzel children (their friendship has lasted over a year), the difference is obvious. First, now they receive her with special warmness and do not want to let her go. Second, they are less shy than they used to be, speaking about their needs: textbooks, toys, and pictures for the children’s development — in a word, everything that the Vorzel wardens, most of whom are slightly backward compared to their coevals, need to make up with them. Perhaps they would have started to speak about their needs long ago and gladly received any donor, if not for the strict rules from above, making it considerably more difficult for those willing to support the orphanage to pass their aid along. They have to obtain certificates for every gift and almost disinfect every toy. On the one hand, caution is certainly a good thing. On the other, it is easy to guess that many people willing to help are frightened away by the complicated bureaucratic procedure. However, there is also a third nuance: those who do such things with all their hearts will never be scared of such impediments. For example, this year, having heard about Natalia’s action, her colleagues in Odesa, Ternopil, Luhansk, and Kharkiv took up her call. They selected orphanages that lack other sponsors and prepared little surprises for the children from St. Nicholas and Grand father Frost within the framework of the Heart to Heart action.
Perhaps the Vorzel Orphanage does not look beautiful, but at least there is no hunger or cold there. On the contrary, it is very warm, due to persons like Natalia who are willing to help, and those like methodologist Olha Tykhonova, able to distinguish between the orphanage’s urgent needs and minor ones in the conditions when it is impossible to get everything at once. The orphanage demonstrates to potential donors that it is possible to create a homelike atmosphere for children deprived of their families, instead of permanently complaining about the state’s lack of attention. This makes their donations the more generous, since they can see that here people know how to make good use of the presents.
Speaking about Natalia Balabanova’s action, visiting the orphanages during the New Year’s and Christmas festivities will become annual, as earlier reported by The Day. Everyone willing to find out about the details can turn either to The Day or to the Liniya stylia [Style line] beauty salon at 28a, Andriyivsky uzviz.