Svetlana and Dimitry, two impoverished Jewish children in rural Ukraine, don’t live lives like other children. Their lives consist of a hunger and a poverty rarely seen in the Western world.
Instead of a home featuring modern utilities, the siblings live in a collapsing hovel built long before running water and indoor plumbing came to their area.
Instead of going to school and playing with friends, the two children, ages 7 and 13, spend their days toiling to support their family. They shell walnuts that they find in the yard, selling the nuts by the side of the road and using the shells to heat their home during the cold Ukrainian winters.
And instead of bundling into warm coats when the winter arrives, Svetlana and Dimitry return to their house with numb fingers and chapped faces.
When The Fellowship arrived at the family’s door, the children’s tearful mother said, “I love my children with all of my heart and wish that I could provide a better life for them.”
A Fellowship member gave the family a box of food – less than she would buy on a weekly grocery trip, but more than this family has for two months – which seemed like a miracle to the children, hungry as the Jewish High Holy Days approach.
Opening the box, Svetlana exclaimed, “This is real! Mom, this is a real pineapple!”
And when the family learned they would have a new heater for the brutal winters, the girl hugged her mother and said, “All your wishes came true!”