Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Transfiguration


Details about Project Usmishka

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Sharing smiles—enriching lives!

It’s September: a new school year; a new liturgical year! Our parish women are embarking on an exciting and beautiful project to brighten the lives of disabled young women and girls who have been orphaned or abandoned by their families.

Many of these girls have lived most of their life in the orphanage, (called an internat in Ukraine), in the village of Petryky, Ternopil, but almost half of the current residents of this internat haverecently arrived from Donetsk, a city in war-torn Eastern Ukraine.

Because of the generosity of our parish UCWL, a group from Petryky attended a pilgrimage to the Zarvanytsia Shrine this summer. In addition, the money sent from our women paid for an outing to the Ternopil city centre, as well as needed materials and supplies for the girls to use in the home.

Few actions in life provide as much pleasure as making another person smile. Laughter is contagious and lightens heavy loads. Thus, our UCWL is not stopping at providing funds! We are taking a further step to show that we, here in Kitchener Canada, care about each child and young woman in the orphanage at Petryky. We, at the Church of the Transfiguration, are a transfigured people who share our love and joy!

Our plan is to send each of the 85 internat residents a personal surprise package from us for St Nicholas Day, when traditionally Christmas gifts are given in Ukraine. Each package would have the name of the recipient, with a note and pictures from us. These girls, who have been living their lives segregated from others, can see that they are not forgotten.

We are sharing our smiles and sending our love! Would you like to help?

From now until our next meeting on October 18th, we are thinking about and gathering various items that we will collect on the stage in the basement hall. On October 18th, we will match the internat residents with our names and faces, so that each of us can take charge of some packages and make a connection with those girls.

At this time, we will determine what things we have that might be appropriate for whom and then compile a list of needed items to acquire. Oct. 24th (Sat) & 25th (Sun) we will meet to package the items and write a note to each girl.

If you would like to donate items, please contact me at for a list of things various girls like.

If you’d like to join in the fun of putting the packages together please attend the Oct. 18th and Oct. 24th (Sat) & 25th (Sun) meetings. If you’d like to donate money for the shipping, please ensure the envelope is marked “Project Smile”.

Be ready to SMILE!

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