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VALLEY STREAM, NY: The Ukrainian Gift of Life Foundation, a division of Rotary International Gift of Life, Inc" has announced that another 45 children have received successful heart operations in Kyiv, since the 26th. Annual Dinner Dance held on April 21 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. At the close of the fiscal year, Ukrainian Gift of Life presented a total of 247 children operated on in Ukraine, an amount far exceeding original expectations.

[Peter Oleshchuk with a Gift of Life child in Kyiv]Gift of Life has been helping children from needy countries around the world for over twenty six years. Ukrainian Gift of Life raises money to bring children from Ukraine to the United States, for operations at New York and Chicago area hospitals and also funds operations at hospitals in Ukraine itself. At present, the organization must raise close to $64,000 to pay for the recent operations in Kyiv.

The need is urgent, says Ukrainian Gift of Life activist, Peter Oleshchuk. "Every day, three or more children die in Ukraine, never having been properly treated. We have serious work to do. Children die waiting to be treated in emergency rooms and many never get there. Sinful are those of us that are aware of such travesty and dare not life a finger to do something about it!"

Over the years, hundreds upon hundreds of children have been saved through the efforts of Gift of Life and the generosity of its benefactors, but there are so many more children who still need to be helped. Ukrainian Gift of Life is proceeding with urgency to save as many of our children as possible, but we need your help. Time is precious and we cannot sit by complacently, while a child dies, waiting for a heart operation.

Gift of Life calls upon all Ukrainian parishes in the United States to sponsor a child now. It costs only around $650.00 to sponsor one child to have a life-saving heart operation. For every parish that sponsors a child by September 1, 2001, the "Ukrainian American Freedom Foundation" will match that gift so that two children may be saved. Please organize your fellow parishioners and join together now, to save as many of our children in Ukraine as we possibly can. Contact Mr. Peter Oleshchuk of "Ukrainian Gift of Life" at (516) 561-5200, for more information or to sponsor a child now. Parishes may also call the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church in the USA Chancery Office at (216) 961-9873 to participate in the Gift of Life program to "save our children."

"In God's name we pray for those children we cannot save, and for the strength to do more to eliminate our complacency to do nothing," said Mr. Oleshchuk. "Our Ukrainian American émigré needs an awakening to the serious work we have to do."

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