On Saturday, November 13, two weeks before Thanksgiving and the start of the Nativity Fast, the staff of the American-Russian Aid Association "Otrada" (ARAA-Otrada) in Chestnut Ridge, NY and its St. Elizabeth Charitable Fund embarked on another charitable effort in support of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC).
ARAA-Otrada President Marena Maltsev notes that "ARAA-Otrada is proud to support the works of the IOCC who, in the spirit of Christ’s love, offers emergency relief and development programs to those in need worldwide, without discrimination, and strengthens the capacity of the Orthodox Church to so respond."
Thus, in November 2021, ARAA-Otrada dedicated funds from their charitable Belosselsky Fund to purchase direct aid items, personal toiletries, and hygienic supplies to put together more than 500 "health kits" to support the IOCC’s outreach programs.
When came time to sort, assemble, package, and box these materials, ARAA-Otrada called upon their fellow scouts at St. George Pathfinders of America (SGPA), who gathered on a Saturday to help with the effort.
"This project has all the elements of the values we try to instill in the Orthodox youth who participate in our programs," said Scoutmaster Grеgorii Galitzine, SGPA’s Northeast Regional Director. "Community service to others in need, support to our Church and Faith, and doing good deeds are the essence of our Russian scouting program."
The task was made easier by the warmth of the friendship that the scouts of SGPA share. Everyone laughed and worked together, and the final result was not only finishing the assembly of 500 health kits, but boxing and preparing everything for delivery to the IOCC.
More information on these organizations can be found on their respective websites:
American-Russian Aid Association "Otrada" – www.araa-otrada.org
International Orthodox Christian Charities – www.iocc.org
St. George Pathfinders of America – www.tsarskoyeselo.org/home