Since childhood, we all look forward to the New Year and Christmas holidays with special warmth and anticipation. It is this magical time that we associate and remember for a lifetime as a time of miracles, gifts, warmth and love from our families. Now, during the war, we all celebrate the holidays in different ways. Some are far away from their loved ones who remained in the occupied cities, others are waiting for their loved ones to return from the battlefield. But, unfortunately, there are also those families who will not be able to gather at the holiday table together. Because of the war, many Ukrainian families have faced grief that has changed their happy lives and the lives of their children forever.
Before the war, Veronika lived in a happy family: her mother, father and older brother Yegor. New Year's holidays were always special and long-awaited for the family, spent at home with a Christmas tree, a festive table and tangerines. And there were always gifts under the tree and family photos to make the holiday memorable. It was as if we had a premonition that we should appreciate the time we spent together and capture all the happy moments that were so numerous in peaceful life.
But with the start of the full-scale invasion, the family's life changed completely. On September 15, 2022, Veronika's family experienced terrible pain from the news they received - her husband and father of two children went missing in the war. The loss of their father deeply affected the children, Yehor and Veronika. More than a year has passed since that terrible day, and the family still cannot cope with despair and is trying to accept the new realities of life.
"Our family is still undergoing transformation. I have a feeling that time seems to have stopped, and the children seem to have started to grow and change faster. During this time, they have matured a lot, especially my eldest son Yehor, who was the first to learn from me about what happened to his father," says Veronika's mother.
Veronika was told that her father had disappeared and that they did not know if he would return home. For some time, it seemed that the news did not affect the girl in any way, she hid her pain and despair about the closest person whose death she could not accept. She also believed and expected that one day she would receive a call and everything would be as it was before. Only after a while Veronika opened up because she could no longer hold back her emotions and tears.
All this time, Veronika had a little secret that she did not tell anyone about. Veronika has always been a very creative girl, and now it is her creativity that helps her cope with her feelings and pain. She started to make more beads and knit, and it helps her calm down a bit.
This year, as in the past, Veronika chose her gift in advance: she wants to knit a warm blanket that will keep her warm on cold winter evenings. But now the little girl, who has grown up a lot over the year, is no longer waiting for a gift under the tree because she no longer believes in Santa.
Many families have lost their main support - their husbands and fathers - due to the war, and some of the children have become orphans. In such a difficult time, it is very important to have someone who supports and helps. For many of them, this support is provided by the Children of Heroes Foundation, which helps children who have lost their parents to war. After her father's death, Veronika became a ward of the Children of Heroes Foundation. 66% of the families under the care of the Children of Heroes Foundation have a difficult financial situation, so these children often do not have the opportunity to receive the most basic necessities, and gifts are out of the question.
We all dream of victory and a happy life for our children. And we hope that our wish will come true as soon as possible. And our children still believe in miracles. So on the eve of the holidays, each of us can turn into a wizard and make the dreams of the children of fallen Heroes come true.
This year, for the second time in a row, the SOCAR filling station network, the dobro.ua charity platform and the Children of Heroes Foundation are implementing a New Year's initiative to congratulate the children of Heroes.
It is very easy to make a child's dream come true! It is enough to buy a special postcard with children's drawings on which children have depicted their dreams at any SOCAR filling station. Guests can also buy their favorite drink in a New Year's charity cup with illustrations from the Foundation's wards.
You can keep the card as a souvenir, or write warm New Year's wishes for your child and put it in a special mailbox. SOCAR is guaranteed to deliver your greeting to the little recipient. SOCAR will donate the money from the sale of charity goods to this project.
The goal is to congratulate 320 children. But thanks to your contributions, the number of children can be increased.
Let's do a good deed together!
Drawings by the children of the fallen heroes, in which they depicted their dreams.