While the entire country of Ukraine feels the everyday pressure of war with Russian Aerial bombardment terrorizing civilians and the rising prices of goods and services, hardworking Ukrainian citizens have not let the war stop them from using their talents in a collective effort to raise funds for important causes and getting those funds to the people who desperately need them.
Ukrainians like Evgeniy Komarov have managed to do just that by working through the night to raise money and awareness for Blagomay, which then gives their donations to abandoned children in orphanages. An event was held on Aug. 12 for this purpose at the Green Bar, a restaurant located at Khoryva St, in Kyiv, Ukraine. Evgeniy, a business law professional by day and cocktail bartender by night, has been working toward this goal since 2011.
He works a guest shift for the event, meets with a marketing team to create a flyer, and then promotes it to his and the establishment’s patrons. Sometimes, he makes a set drink list; other times, it will be a percentage taken from the entire night of all cocktails sold. In this case, it was both, and when a customer purchases a drink at the event, the sales percentage is subtracted from the overall profits from the night and given directly to the Blagomay Fund.
I asked Evgeniy why he does this, and he replied, “First, you try charity, and then you know that you can never stop. It is a life position, a state of your soul. When you see the results, you understand that you can change something and help someone; it motivates you to do more and more.
As a lawyer, once a week, I become a bartender. For my friends, clients, and owners of the bars, it’s entertainment to see a lawyer shaking, dancing, and serving drinks. It’s a chance to meet with my friends and other people at the bar. Give them my tasty cocktails, talk with them, and have some fun. For the children of the orphanage who receive the generated funds, it’s essential and can be life-changing.”
Blagomay provides many resources for children, including educational, medical, facility reconstruction, and emergency programs. We are inspired to work to provide a new standard of living and opportunities for children deprived of parental care, children in difficult life circumstances, displaced children, children of fallen heroes, and all children affected by the war in Ukraine. The foundation’s programs include educational, medical, emergency, critical needs, shelter, and rehabilitation programs,” according to the Blagomay website.
Blagomay Fund is a Ukrainian charity that has improved children’s childhoods in over 100 orphanages in Ukraine for 11 years. The fund is dedicated to providing a better future for orphaned children who could have been abandoned or lost their families, some directly resulting from war and genocide in Ukraine. “This includes needed supplies and education so these children can still have the opportunities to become professionals in their different spheres of interest,” said Evgeniy.
One specific cocktail of the night was named after “Black Lives Matter” because Evgeniy felt strongly about the racial injustice many African Americans face daily. The cocktail was made to suit the guest’s taste for sour or sweet and included M&M’s. The night also featured a record-spinning guest DJ who played popular classic tracks like “Ridin” from Chamillionaire.
Profits on this night given to the fund were 3000 UAH (Ukrainian Hryvnia), which equals $81.29 in the U.S.; in total, from the previous event bar sales and this night equaled 6875 UAH from the sales of cocktails, which is about $186.15 US. While this is not a large amount of money in the U.S., it is a good profit in Ukraine for kids in orphanages, and every little bit counts.