(1) Doctor Liza, the angel for Moscow homeless. Russian sites: doctorliza.ru and doctor-liza.livejournal.com Works off a basement near Metro Novokuznetskaya. Her needs are money, clothing, and helping hands. If needed I am available to deliver things as geographically I’m as close to her as things ever get (5 min. walk). No English translation of her site but here is something about her in English at video.kylekeeton.com and english.ruvr.ru. Since I seem to have an inexorably developing dromomania I may very well end up on the receiving end, which is my personal reason for supporting the cause of the homeless.
(2) A hospice for terminally ill cancer patients. See hospicefund.ru. The city of Moscow covers the basics but the Hospice provides comfort, care, and dignity, which are not part of the deal with the Soviet/Russian state-run system. Alexandra (see Kandalaksha Nature Reserve or her own site) has some joint publishing projects with them. My role is much humbler and, in line with rapidly progressing pull to the abyss of uncontrollable urge to wander, is to deliver stuff. I’m particularly popular in this role after I found myself in the possession of a total of 8m3 (over 80ft3) of cargo space.
The most this vehicle carried for the Hospice was ~1700kg (~3600 lbs). Doable although not easy.
(3) Old folks home in Kolionovo, near Yegoryevsk, east of Moscow Oblast. Misha Slyapnikov (?), the hero behind the project, is active in making rural life bearable, especially for the elderly. He needs hands (landscaping, farming, debris cleanup, construction), publicity, and just about everything else. East from Moscow, Yegor’yevsk region. Their site kolionovo.parykino.ru is Russian only but here there are a few stories in English floating around. Misha’s project is also your excuse to get out of Moscow. Kolionovo is the “real” countryside yet it is only a couple of hours from the center of Moscow if roads are clear.
(4) Paulina Fedorovna, retired director of the Staritsa (Tver region) children’s shelter, is actively helping single mothers. She collects and distributes clothing. Paulina herself needs health care so that she can effectively continue her work despite her failing health and in particular eyesight. Let me know if you want to help in any way. Although I’m no longer actively involved with Horses & Dacha project, I will be happy to visit old haunts if there is a compelling reason to travel to Staritsa.
What do to with good items that are no longer needed is something I’ve been asked several times. Finally, there I am, with what I think is an exhaustive list of what I know on the subject. MORE>>
Clothing and Soviet era items. Things are donated by visitors, and you MUST either bring something of value, or pay a 150 rouble ($5) entry fee. Prices? Pay whatever you feel. Proceeds are donated to charities. MORE>>
Vegetarian hangouts, organic vegetables, soap made from something other than boiled animal bones etc. Ecological causes and organizations. Lots on particularly vicious food products or additives. Packed with info that feels up to date. Russian only.
English summary: http://www.diaconia.ru/english/
Did a delivery for them once, in 2010. Found their work to be remarkably well organized given the scale of the disaster and urgency. Based on what I know recommended for large-scale projects despite all else we may know about about this institution.
Run by the Hare Krishna people. Full dinner: 200 roubles ($7). Delivery near Metro VDNKh, Botanichesky Sad, Sviblovo, Otradnoye, or Vladykino is 200 roubles and free for orders over 600. Free trial dinners to offices in the area. Delivery elsewhere in Moscow is 300 roubles for orders under 1000, and free if over 1000. Delivery happens from noon to 2pm. Orders to be made the previous day before 7pm. +7 925 201 4977 or +7 915 140 7387, firstname.lastname@example.org Many of Hare Krishna devotees speak fluent English.
While freshening up the description of Alexandra’s apartment near Metro Alexeyevskaya available for rent from June to August 2013, possibly longer or even indefinitely I remembered a church nearby that houses an icon of the Prophet Nahum. This icon is said to make those who light a candle in front of it smarter. I’ve personally tested this claim with the all the scientific vigour I still manage to retain from the days of reason and rationality as a biology student in London, Ontario. In summer 2010, when over 100F heat for weeks and smoke from burning bogs and forests around Moscow made being here worse than unbearable, I appealed to the Prophet Nahum instead of downing a couple of cold ones as my habit was. It worked! My head got considerably more clear than after No.9 Baltica. Q.E.D. Seriously, it is a vibrant old church, with a Sunday school and a group that visits the elderly and all the rest a proper institution of this sort is supposed to have. So I’m putting the Church of the Holy Virgin of Tikhvin in Village of Alexeyevskoye, as it is officially called, on my list of “recommended” religious establishments.
Right by Metro VDNKh. I think you will see it from the station. If not, walk along Prospekt Mira back towards the city center.
And that’s the Prophet whose icon. In the Russian Orthodox tradition it is prayed to before beginning basic learning. Saints are in effect mini-gods, each having a specialization, and this one has a particular responsible for earlier stages of schooling. Russian “ум”(um), meaning “knowledge”, is part of his name.
Mini Russian Lesson
“У” grew out of “OU” that fused. Think of “U” with a little tail. Russian “У” is related to English “Y” and “V”. If you are aware that in Latin “V” also signified sound “U”, and if you see “У” in “V”, then “У” should no longer appear totally foreign.
Whether we like, approve, accept etc. religion, it is what defines a nation or a country. I’m sharing info on the religious scene for the benefit of those who want to get under the surface.
What to do with good but not needed clothing? That’s one of the questions a westerner stuck in Moscow will ask at some point. Something similar to Goodwill has opened in Moscow under the auspices of the Charity Department of the Moscow Patriarchate.