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Annual Seasonal Charity Drive Under Way

'Warm Words and Good Deeds' coincides with the 'Year of the Volunteer' this year, and the city-wide campaign to help the needy was formally launched at Belgorod State University for the 16th year in a row

The charity drive unites the citizens of Belgorod in the traditional spirit of giving during the holiday season. The money raised is sent where it is needed most, and many local social organisations benefit from the largesse of those who are more fortunate. Last year over ₽1,000,000 ($15,000) were raised in the first 3 weeks of December and given out to 20 organisations that helped orphans, the elderly, and struggling families.

The opening ceremony took place in the Metropolitan Macarius Assembly Hall at the Faculty of Theology, and was attended by directors of charitable organisations, Regional administrators and child-welfare staff, local business leaders, and members of the clergy. Professor Oleg Polukhin, Rector of Belgorod State UniversityU, delivered the commencement address, and started by thanking those present for their continued support. He recalled the words of the Abkhazian-Russian writer Fazil Iskander on the significance of good deeds,

If everyone does all the good things they are capable of, then the possibility of good things happening will be limitless.

The Rector iterated his belief that our seasonal charity drive is an affirmation of the great writer's wise words.

Alexander Soveenko, Head of Sberbank in Belgorod Region, Vladimir Zubov, Head of the Regional Department for Consumer Market Development, and Deputy Marina Lazareva, from Belgorod City Council, were among those who picked out letters from children, to give directly to Grandfather Frost, so that he makes sure that at least some of their dreams come true slightly before New Year's Eve. To be precise, he may well send the gifts in time for the closing ceremony for the drive, which will take place at 11am on 21st December in the Youth Cultural Centre at Belgorod State University.

 Translated by I P Turner, Centre for Foreign Language and Academic Writing

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