Hi there! On this page we will tell how our Foundation works

Documents and reporting

Important facts to begin with

Starenki is an official Charitable Foundation and it is a non-profit organization. The Foundation has a Charter that defines our scope of work and key objectives.

We accept all donations to our bank account, all payments are also made from it. We do not use cash in our operations. It helps us to be transparent

We provide food assistance to lonely elderly people in difficult life circumstances, who are registered at the Territorial Centers for Social Services and at Caritas Ukraine.

We do not work directly with elderlyer people for their safety. Also, our volunteers never visit them alone. They are always accompanied by their social worker. It is important.

We are independent volunteer foundation. A community of people who are not indifferent to the topic of elderly age in Ukraine

As of January 2021, Starenki is an organization that provides assistance in 7 cities of Ukraine and plans to expand further.

Currently, the permanent team consists of 30 people, who perform certain roles. Some of them are employees of the Foundation, some of the specialists involved through business support, but most of them are volunteers. We don’t have an office, we worked remotely before it became a mainstream.

* Given this structure and volume of physical care, it does not make sense to describe all the operational processes that take place behind the scenes. Just believe us that there are many of them. And we love our team, which supports run operations at such a high level.

Here, for your convenience, we present a simplified scheme of work of Starenki Foundation.

Mariia Novokshchenova, Managing Director of Starenki

All our fundraising takes place through social networks and word of mouth. Our donors are our subscribers, their friends and acquaintances, they are also our friends, friends of our friends, their moms, dads, colleagues… well, you get it. Often our volunteers are also our donors. Because having seen the whole process with your own eyes, you immediately understand what to do. Recently, the corporate sector has been involved in helping the elderly. Increasingly, small businesses are helping us. As we get more subscribers who donate on a regular basis, we can provide a more stable help to our ba and di.

Our main help is food and household aid packages. You can see their composition below. We buy products for them from a trusted supplier who has quality certificates and additionally checks the expiration dates of all shipped products for us. Purchase and delivery are usually carried out immediately in large quantities.
Sometimes we also buy personal hygiene products (adult diapers and nappies).

After the products are delivered to the premises of the social service (we do not have our own warehouse), our coordinators find volunteers who form packages according to the list. Packing is not an easy task both physically and mentally, because you need to make 10-20-30, and sometimes even 100 packages and make sure that each of them contains all the products in the right quantity.
We often joke that putting together one pack can be equated to a good workout in the gym with weights – here you have squats and bends and twisting with weights.

When packages are put together, our coordinators schedule deliveries. Each of them involves a social worker, a volunteer with a car and a volunteer on foot. One of the two volunteers must be experienced. Each volunteer is instructed, acquainted with the rules of volunteering and signs a written agreement with them, which indicates their personal data. After each delivery, our coordinators gather feedback to improve our processes.

Delivery of food aid packages takes place only during working hours because it involves social workers. One crew of volunteers usually delivers about 15 aid packages in 3-4 hours, depending on traffic. So by joining our team, you have a chance to contribute to helping 15 ba and di with one day of help. We also organize what we call ‘tea parties’ for those elderly people who still want and can go somewhere. Our volunteers treat them to various delicacies and entertain them with songs, poetry and conversations.

Gratitude from Alla Oleksandrivna, Kyiv

I call to thank you! I usually don’t like to compliment – but I will do it for your young people. You do not think, in my 72 I am adequate. And I want to say – your volunteers are the only ones whose gifts do not look like handouts to retirees, just to put a tick. Packages are thoughtful and useful – and can really be called the word “help”. Because often for the elderly, who are still remembered, any gifts look humiliating and affect the sense of dignity.
It seems to me that your intentions are absolutely sincere. And I’m happy that there are still such young people who are admirable. Be sure to pass my words to them!

What is a food aid package and what it looks like

Our food aid package was created based on the recommendations of the World Health Organization and changed according to the requests of elderly people that we help. One package weighs 8-9 kg, and it lasts for about 3-4 weeks. Do not be surprised – many elderly people we help have a bad appetite and this is really enough.

The composition of the food aid package may vary depending on the availability of products from the suppliers. In any case, we include only products with long shelf life into our aid packages, the quality of which is confirmed by the relevant certificates.

We are often accused of excessive amounts of sweets in the package. However, we know that elderly people try save on them. And we are happy to give them these pleasant moments of tea with delicious cookies or candy, because they do not have much joy in life.

Delivery and Tea Parties

Delivery

Food aid packages delivery is the address delivery organized for the Foundation’s dependents. A social worker always accompanies our volunteers when they visit elderly people.

One volunteer usually travels by car, joined by a volunteer on foot and a social worker. Sometimes they can be accompanied by a photographer or journalist. One volunteer in the crew must be experienced and understand the whole process.

Delivery takes place only on weekdays between 9:00 and 16:00. The whole process takes about 3 hours and gives you a dose of different emotions (there will definitely be positive among them!). During this time you will visit 10 elderly people and make them feel that they are cared for and not forgotten.

Our food aid package was created based on the recommendations of the World Health Organization and changed according to the requests of our dependents. One package weighs 8-9 kg, and it lasts for about a month.

Tea parties

An event organized by the Foundation's volunteers for those dependents who still want and can go somewhere. It is organized in the premises of the territorial center for the provision of social services and with its assistance.

Volunteers set the table with various delicacies and organize a program for the elderly - a performance of musicians or poets, a lecture or a lotto game. The Foundation also organizes the handout of food aid packages at the event.

Our dependents love tea parties and are always very prepared for them - they put on their best dresses, get ready and learn new poems. Every tea party for them is an opportunity to communicate with each other and with young people and get distracted from gloomy thoughts.

The safety of our dependents is our top priority.

Older people are a very vulnerable category of the population.

They are more likely than others to fall victim to scammers and robbers because of their gullibility and lack of other people around to protect them. In Coronavirus times, their health vulnerabilities have also become apparent - it is the elderly who may have the most severe side effects from coronavirus.

Therefore, we consider it especially important to follow the rules that promote the safety of our recipients. There are rules for volunteering in our Foundation and all volunteers should get acquainted with them and sign a formal agreement.

Important points that should always be remembered and strictly adhered to:

  • ALWAYS join the parties and tea parties ONLY if you feel healthy and don’t have any symptoms
  • NEVER take phone numbers and home addresses of the dependents – direct communication of volunteers with dependents without a social worker is prohibited due to dependents’ security considerations
  • It is FORBIDDEN to disclose dependents’ personal information

If you want to help the elderly people and join us as a volunteer, we offer you the following steps:

Volunteers are the heart and soul of Starenki, our driving force and the most important component of the mechanics of our Foundation, because it is the volunteers who deliver our food and hygiene aid to the wards, provide sweets for our tea parties and delight everyone with their creativity.

All our volunteers are not random people. Everyone has been brought to us by their own story, and everyone who has spent some time with us is changing. It is impossible not to change after communicating with our beloved wards...
 
During the existence of the Starenki, more than 500 people volunteered with us!
Join the community of our volunteers and lets together bring a little care and joy to our wonderful starenki.
about volunteering