Ukrainian Children’s AId and Relief Effort


What is UCARE?

UCARE, Inc. (Ukrainian Children's Aid and Relief Effort) is a non-profit organization whose primary focus is the children of Ukraine, primarily those living in orphanages and internaty. Our work aims not only to provide basic sustenance and better living circumstances for them today, but also to expand their options for a better future.

Our mission is to improve the quality of life and health of children residing in the Ukrainian orphanage system and to create opportunities for these children to reach their maximum potential. Currently, our primary focus is on the medical and educational needs of orphaned children in Ukraine. We aim to help orphanages and internaty in Ukraine not only with materially, but also by aiding them with staff development, organizational skills, health and hygiene, public relations, personal growth and spirituality.

We cover the cost of medicines, surgeries, and hospital stays for children with disabilities. We are working on projects to provide prosthetics and cleft palate surgeries for Ukrainian children.

We are also concerned about the young adults who are leaving the orphanage system. Through the distribution of scholarships/stipends, we will enable some of these youngsters to further their education at universities, colleges, and trade schools.

A group of our volunteers travels once a year Ukraine on a March-Route to distribute supplies to the orphanages, interview the staff and evaluate the facilities. Some of the supplies are donated here in the USA, but most are now purchased in Ukraine.

Our members participate in summer camp programs for orphans in Ukraine by working as volunteer camp counselors, doctors and workshop leaders. In 2006, we organized our own summer camp near Yalta, Crimea. SInce 2008 we have been working with our sister organization, Priyateli Ditey of Ukraine, to run camps in Kolochava, Zakarpattya.

To learn more about UCARE, please visit our website here.

What’s my connection to UCARE?

My cousin Vera started UCARE here in the US as a partner organization to Прийателі Дітей  of Ukraine and Help Us Help the Children (a special project of Canada’s Children of Chornobyl Fund).  In the late 1990s,she collected money, clothing and toys here in the US, helped out on distribution routes, and attended two summer camps in Ukraine. It kept her very busy.

One family holiday, when I had been doing vodka shots with my cousin Andy1, she approached me with the possibility of attending summer camp and working as a camp doctor.  I agreed, despite the fact that I had never enjoyed organized camps in my youth, and had avoided them with a vengeance.

And so in the summer of 1998 I went to camp.  And I fell in love with the kids. It was hard work, the conditions weren’t great, I got sick, but the kids were wonderful.  They had next to nothing, but were willing to share what little they had with me.  And they were wonderful kids.  It was horrible that they had so little a future in Ukraine.

So I became active in UCARE.  I’ve attended summer camp annually since that first one (except 2007, when there was not UCARE camp).  I’ve packed and sorted huge piles of clothing, gone on a distribution route, worked at fundraiser, served on the board of directors, and was the web master for a while.  I’ve put in hundreds of hours, and spent thousands of dollars to help these kids.

And that’s what it is all about.  The kids.  Their future.  And what I – and you – can do to help them. 

What’s on this website?

Photos.  Lots and lots of photos.  Once I get them posted.  I have thousands.

If you want nuts and bolts information, go to our official site

If you want to look at pictures, you’re in the right place.

I’ve divided them up thusly:

UCARE Activities: Photos from our activities here in the USA. 

Hearts for Art:  Our big project of 2005-2006.  Orphans in Ukraine were visited by our volunteers, they made heart pillows and created paintings for us.  They learned about human trafficking and AIDS  prevention.  The paintings were brought back to the USA, where they were mounted, framed, and exhibited in a series of gallery shows.

Summer Camp: Photos from Vorohta (1998-2005), Crimea (2006), and Transcarpathia (2008)

March-Rut:  Visiting orphanages to help them out.  You can read about our 2007 March Rut here.

So look around, and check back, as there’ll be lots more to come.

If, after perusing this site, you’d like to help us out, you can either go to our official site, or donate to us via GoFundMe.

Back to MAIN home page of this site.

UCARE Official Site