About the «Gift of Life» Charity Fund|
Gift of Life is a charity fund aimed at helping children with onco-hematological diseases established on November 26 2006 by actresses Dina Korzun and Chulpan Hamatova. The charity fund holds the status of a legal person.
The «Donors to Children» initiative group is a union of volunteers without a persistent list of members, legal person status or online e-currency accounts.
- Raising funds to be used to fund medical care and rehabilitation for children with oncological and hematological diseases
- Supporting oncological and hematological clinics that treat children and young adults
- Attracting attention to the cause of providing support to children with such illnesses
- Aiding in the growth and development of blood donations without compensation
- Providing ill children with social and psychological support
- Supporting volunteer groups functioning at onco-hematological clinics
Official website «Gift of Life» (in Russia)
Official website «Gift of Life» (in EU, London)
Volunteers group «Gift of Life»
Chulpan Hamatova is an actress, co-founder of the Gift of Life Fund and a mother of three.
Why did you get into charity?
My experience with charity has its source in my initial confrontation with doctors. When I first encountered doctors as a whole, I instantly saw them as these amazing, sensitive people whose hearts haven’t yet turned to stone, yet I also understood that they need all the help they can get. As long as such bright sources of light exist on this planet fighting for the lives of children, I have no right to leave them alone in their endeavor. I also witnessed the work done by volunteers: people with big, kind hearts. I was amazed at their selflessness. And, of course, I met the children as well. Visiting them, playing with them and talking to them is happiness incarnate for me.
The first event we organized was a charity concert called Gift of Life that was held on June 1st, Children’s Day, 2005 at the Sovremennik Theater. That concert united a myriad of performers, volunteers and philanthropists. Then we started organizing more events one after the other. It swiftly became evident that we would need to organize a charity fund to build up a system for helping the children.
How has the work you’ve done for the charity fund affected you personally?
I opened up quite a bit and became more apt at socializing. I used to only really interact with people from the theater and movie scenes, and the most interesting topic I could find was a character profile. Now I’m constantly surrounded by amazing children and their parents, doctors and nurses, volunteers too, and they’re all people from a vast variety of professional fields and social classes.
After meeting the children being treated at our clinics and entering their world, where life and death, joy and suffering, pain and desperation are felt in all their stark sharpness and uncompromising nature, I learned a lot and understood many things I hadn’t grasped before. I became totally unreceptive to mundane conversation and everyday “problems” that aren’t really problems at all. I learned to distinguish nonsense, foolishness, a waste of time and blatant egoism from truly important matters that cannot and should not wait. It’s important to always remember that there’s nothing more important in life than the health and wellbeing of those around us.
What do you personally gain from such activities?
I guess I’m just an egoist, since I find the whole ordeal very pleasant to engage in. I feel incredible amounts of joy from seeing children being treated and cured, from looking into their eyes. I end up feeling a lot more upbeat when I see how happy the children’s parents become when they realize that they aren’t alone in their fight. The look in their eyes makes things like fame and ratings and all that other nonsense intertwined with the title of “popular actress” totally insignificant. And that makes me happy.
It grants me a lot of love in a time when the concept of love has all but lost its value. Everyone feels a lack of love, kindness and care. Being the happy person I am, these activities grant me so much warmth, kindness and love that I can live off of them for a long time to come. I also live with the feeling that I contribute to altering reality as a whole. That is a pleasant sensation as well, one that efficiently and positively moves me forward. I know the purpose of my life in this world. I’m a useful and happy person.
Why do people tend to get into charity?
Everyone has their own reasons. Some people just aren’t capable of ignoring the pain and suffering of others. All the impulses of offering a helping hand and kindness happen inside such people on a subconscious level. There are also people who fear God and want to change their lives for the better to get rid of that fear. Then there are those who seek influence in social circles. They may not feel others’ pain, but they are prominent in society, so they find it important to uphold a positive image. I’m very happy to see how the social responsibilities of companies and individuals alike are growing more and more, with more people deciding to embrace charity since it positively affects their reputation.
What would one need to do to help?
Just look into the eyes of these children, their mothers and their doctors, and you’ll understand what to do. It’s utterly obvious. I’m glad that there are people who need just the slightest hint, and they’re rushing off to the hospital, thinking up new endeavors and getting in touch with various contacts. These people are all very different. There are those among them with some serious funds, and there are those who are far from wealthy, yet still looking to help. Some bring a hundred rubles, others bring a thousand. Some come by after performances at the theater and offer money in envelopes with “For the children” written on them. But the most important thing to do is to remain sincere and selfless. This is all an activity that will have unyielding repercussions for all eternity.
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