Virtual Volunteer Team
“I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things” – Mother Teresa
I am very thankful for a fantastic group of people I met through my art project in Tempe, Arizona. Being new to the community, staying home with a child, and working freelance from home can be isolating. How can I explain where I come from in a span of a half a minute?
We see exact same things from a different perspective. Being a mother, I tune into my child's word to see and feel things like he does, when everything is so vivid, exciting and new. Certain scenes or experiences are worth pulling your camera out and making that moment stand still so you can relive what makes you happy. I try to pass those impressions on canvas, so I can share my sense of joy, fulfillment and fluidity of life.
We as beings consist of mostly of water, so are we solid or fluid? What are light, sounds, time, moods, thoughts, relationships, weather, traffic, electricity, radio, and the life itself, if not a flow?
I grew up in Ukraine in a family of professional musicians. My mother was a leading opera singer and a very talented painter, but she didn't pursue visual arts professionally. She had wanted to be an architect, but women were not admitted to study as architects. I graduated from a 5-year program in English translation from a university in my home city of Kharkiv. Women were not admitted into the program for translation, they were meant to teach. I had to attend two programs, and pass three sets of exams to get to prove I was up to the challenge. It was an excellent program, which I hold at higher value than my US Master's in Hotel an Tourism Administration. A foreign language is a very definite science - you either can freely communicate in a foreign language, or you can't.
Volunteering in the US
I have been a member of Rotary International for 8 years, and spent on average ten hours every week volunteering. I was a club secretary, published weekly newsletters, created and maintained websites, did some bartending, worked at festivals, remodeled in homeless shelters, built a BBQ grill, planted. I made lasting friendships while volunteering, and learned more about the reality of the American life. I became a member of YMCA in Tempe, AZ, where we moved in 2017. This charitable organization was a great fit for my lifestyle with a child, allowed room for creativity, and agreed to co-run an art project with me to help them raise funds. My art is now on display in two YMCA's in the Greater Phoenix Area for a silent auction, where all proceeds go to the Y, and I hear of more Ys interested in participating in my aquatics art project.