Doing good at the bidding of the heart: how Muscovites help charitable foundations

January 7
Social sector

The charity became an integral part of everyday life: the number of social projects activists is growing. Muscovites make donations, become mentors for people with health problems, visit animal shelters and take home their inhabitants. Volunteers spoke about the volunteer work varieties.

Saving homeless animals from starvation

No special skills are needed to become an assistant to animal protection organizations. It only requires love for animals and free time. A year ago, Anastasia Rastopshina joined the #Feed project of the City animal protection foundation. It appeared in the midst of the pandemic to save homeless animals from starvation. To collect food, the foundation installed special boxes in shopping malls, educational institutions and other crowded places, and organized a fund raising on the website. The foundation's volunteers regularly collect feed and donations, and distribute them to the districts and regions of Moscow.

"I work in the Yuzhnoportovy region of the Southeastern District and I know how many stray dogs and cats live here. To help them, I receive food from the foundation, arrange dinners and send photo reports to coordinators. I also take part in sterilization of animals: I call a catcher who takes the animal to the veterinarian and returns it back to its usual habitat after the operation. Plus, my pets will have a new friend in a month and a half — I'm taking the dog from the foster home!" Anastasia said.

Анастасия Растопшина

Becoming a friend for special people

Professionals who are ready to help foundations free of charge also become volunteers. This kind of volunteering is called pro bono. Alla Svenchanskaya is a children's massage therapist. A year and a half ago, she became a volunteer of the Love Syndrome foundation, where she met 18-year-old girl Lyuba with Down syndrome.

"During our first meeting, Lyuba turned her back on me, but when I asked if she would get acquainted, she unexpectedly hugged me tightly. At that moment, everything inside me turned upside down: such people are always extremely sincere in showing feelings, so you also try not to deceive yourself when helping them. This is how the history of our friendship began," the woman shared her feelings.

After six months of preparation, Alla Viktorovna was entrusted to accompany Lyuba in class, in the store or on the street. Besides, they talk on the phone nearly every day. Thanks to the efforts of relatives, doctors and the volunteer’s assistance, Lyuba is well developed, speaks, does manual work and loves to be creative.

Helping women in a difficult situation

It often happens that the decision to help a particular foundation comes up spontaneously, for example, after watching a social video or broadcast on social networks. A story of the Women for Life foundation that helps women in difficult life situations, inspired Diana Ushakova. "After watching the broadcast with the participation of Natalia Moskvitina, the foundation organizer, I enrolled into a volunteer school. After training, I started supporting women. I also collect things for mothers and babies in need. These are boxes with kits for newborns, dowry for babies: diapers, baby lined, bubble baths, caps, onesies and other useful things," she said.

Диана Ушакова

One can also support projects of non-profit organizations through charity service. By now 50 proven foundations joined it. They help seriously ill people, people with disabilities, low-income families, animals and many others. Since the beginning of the service last October, donations for good deeds were made by more than 12.4 thousand people. registered users can transfer money. To do this, select a charity organization, specify the amount of the contribution and click the Help button. Reports on the funds expenditure can be viewed on the Soulful Moscow website.

Charity service on is one of the first projects of its kind. It was established in 2020 on the initiative of Moscow non-profit organizations. The Department of Information Technology and the Committee of Public Relations and Youth Policy worked on the project supported by the Civic Chamber of Moscow. The service managed to gain international recognition. It won the CIPR Digital Award in the Best Digital Service nomination in June 2021. Plus it received the BIG Innovation Awards and the German Innovation Award.


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