A French novelist, Romeo Rolland, once said, “Kindness is not a science, it’s people’s actions.” We can discuss for a long time what kindness really is, but our deeds still speak louder than words, and the hero of our article is living proof of that. Professional builder Anton Savchuk shows us that anyone of us can help those in need, regardless of our financial situation or capabilities.
At Wap Trens, we became really interested in the story of this man, and we decided to ask Anton why he does what he does.
How it all started
Anton Savchuk is 33 years old and he lives and works in Yekaterinburg, Russia. Anton has a hobby (as he calls it) and likes to help people. He is not a millionaire or a founder of a charity fund, he’s a regular guy, a builder who has done apartment renovations for many years. In his spare time, he does renovations for free for those who can’t afford them. He buys all the construction materials and furniture with his own money, and only a small part of his expenses is covered by other simple people like him who want to make a difference.
Anton: Once I noticed that some veterans on TV who had received different medals or gifts from government officials lived in pretty shabby, old homes. I remember I thought at that time, “How can it be that people who have done so much for our country have to live in such poor conditions. Even officials usually only remember them once a year on Veteran’s Day.”
I had to spend some time to find those who might need my help. I visited different departments of veterans’ and disabled people’s affairs but they told me there that these people lived fine and that they needed nothing. But it just so happened that people in need started calling me themselves. Currently, I receive many requests, but I can’t help everyone because I don’t even have a sponsor so far.
Anton finds those in need in a different way. Some people write to him on social media, others Anton finds himself via the city department of veterans’ and disabled people’s affairs. He has 2 assistants, one of whom works for him on a permanent basis and the other one is a freelancer. Before Anton begins to do a renovation, he always asks the owners what expectations they have. As a rule, it’s not just about the ceiling, the walls, and the floor. Sometimes, Anton has to buy veterans new furniture because their old stuff is in really poor condition.
Anton says that the people he helps are really good people, otherwise he wouldn’t work for them.
Anton: Valentina is 71 years old, she has been disabled since her childhood. She moves around her house in a wheelchair, and she has been working for the Disability Foundation for her whole life. She rarely goes outside and when she does she uses crutches. Valentina doesn’t have children but she gives all her love to her 2 cats. When I visited her home I realized that her place desperately needed to be renovated, but Valentina can’t do it herself due to her health condition.
Polina and Irina
Anton: Polina is 47 years old, 28 of which she has been a tram driver in Yekaterinburg. Her husband used to be a tram driver too, but he now has a disability and is retired. So they don’t have enough money to live on. When I first visited their home, I noticed that the room of their daughter, 15-year-old Irina, was in poor condition. They couldn’t renovate it due to their financial difficulties: all their money is spent on medications and food, of course.
Irina helped us to paint the radiators and to pad the walls to make her living conditions better. We bought her 2 wardrobes because her old furniture didn’t fit in with the new interior. Everyone was really happy with the results.
Anton: Tatyana survived the Siege of Leningrad (Modern Saint Petersburg) during World War II, and she will turn 80 this year. It’s inconceivable what her family had to go through during that horrible time. Her home hasn’t been renovated for a very long time and we were happy to help her. Her old wardrobe and sofa that had been in her home for 35 years were sent to the junkyard, and we replaced them with new ones.
Vasily and Tamara
Anton: I will always remember this WWII veteran. He and his wife are really kind and good people. Vasily is 95 years old, and his wife, who he’s been together with for 60 years, is 92. They liked to talkabout their younger years and always tried to feed me, thinking that I was hungry.
We were doing renovations for Vasily in November and December so that we could finish them before the holiday season. Everyone was happy with the results and the room changed significantly. We bought him a new sofa, new wardrobes, a new TV set, and we also replaced their window. He fought in the war for world peace and we wanted to show that we were grateful to him for it.
About the car
Anton posted on his social media page that he wanted to raffle off his own car, and it’s not because he doesn’t need it. It’s his only vehicle actually. He wants to do it because this is his only chance to attract attention to his project.
He says that if the winner lives far away from Yekaterinburg, they will receive 100,000 rubles (approximately $1,500) instead.
Anton: I receive small contributions from around the world, even from Europe, the US, and Canada. I’m pleasantly surprised that people from so far away want to help, and it’s not the amount of contributions that matters, it’s their desire to help. Because I can’t do it all by myself.
That’s why I decided to raffle off my car. And I will have to give it away, it’s a matter of honor. I don’t know yet what will happen after the drawing, but I’m not going to give up on my project.
About the present and the future
Anton says that many of his friends don’t understand him. However, there are people who support him: his mother, father, and brother are among them. According to Anton, there are no difficulties when it comes to his job, on the contrary, it brings him pleasure.
He dreams that one day he can do full and expensive renovations with furniture and home appliances being replaced. But so far, it’s just a dream.
Anton’s story is a good example for all of us that doing good deeds isn’t difficult, you just have to care about other people’s problems. In order to make this world better, it’s enough to just extend a helping hand to those who are in need. Exactly like this simple, Russian guy.
What do you think about Anton’s project? Do you know of some other similar projects you’d like to share with our readers? Write about them in the comments below.
Preview photo credit 86sava / instagram