May 15, 2023
From Client to Volunteer: Meet Tatiana of Odesa
“I’m incredibly grateful JDC came into my life,” said Tatiana of Federation partner agency the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), which she credits for reconnecting her to her Jewish roots. Tatiana is one of 3,000 JDC volunteers who support 36,000 people in need across Ukraine through various JDC projects. For years, Tatiana and her two daughters, who live in Odesa, were JDC clients and received support for at-risk families. When Russia invaded Ukraine, everything changed. “An entire huge piece of our lives was ripped away,” relayed Tatiana. “I was stewing in my own fear and then I began to think about others.” She found volunteering for seniors through JDC had a positive effect on her and her daughters. In addition, Tatiana shared, “I used to be embarrassed that I had Jewish blood. JDC helped me to reconnect with the Jewish community.” She still receives JDC assistance, which includes free therapy sessions for her special-needs daughter. “I’m very grateful to the [JDC] donors,” said Tatiana, who, like many, struggles to survive in war-torn Ukraine. “I only want everyone to come home alive, something we used to take for granted,” she noted. Click here to hear Tatiana’s story.