Creativity—and Cupcakes—Bring Volunteers and Children Together

When volunteers visited an orphanage in Ochag, they decided to carry out a few creative activities, believing in the unifying quality of creativity to allow a bond tobe formed between them and the children. They were right. The children participated wholeheartedly—especially since the activity was done in the context of gifts and gift-giving etiquette.

The special holiday program kicked off with a game designedby volunteers Diane and Natalie. Each child had to unwrap a multilayered present one layer at a time, unveiling a surprise, and heor she had to give itas a gift to another child that fit certain characteristics (e.g. someone with brown eyes; someone who gave a smile). By the end, each of the children had received a surprise, which, unsurprisingly, made them incredibly happy.

Arts and crafts followed, with the children tasked to decorate picture frames by themselves. The frames, which contained wishes prepared by the volunteers, ultimately became unique handicrafts, and the volunteers advised the children to use them as gifts in forthcoming holidays.

“I had heard some rules about giving and accepting gifts before, but the details the volunteers provided helped me better understand the importance of the gesture,”14-year-old Rosina said. “The picture frame that we made today—I’ll give it to my best friend!”

But the treats didn’t end there. Pasha and Larisa, a couple who joined the volunteer team with their own children, distributed cupcakes for all to savor and enjoy. It was the first time for many to have tried such a pastry, and they were quite pleased and thankful.

“I did not have an opportunity to visit the orphanage until now. We liked it very much and were happy tosee how much joy our cupcakes brought!” Larisa, who is a part of a Church-initiated charity café that raises funds for orphanages,said. “After seeing everything with my own eyes and meeting the children, I now want to do even more—and with more passion—so that everyone can get a little piece of warmth and care."



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