“Christmas Joy to Ukraine” is a true story told by Mr. Timo Puustinen from Jyväskylä, Finland. The film is about an aid trip to Eastern Ukraine to bring Christmas presents to children in a crisis area. As a charity event, Mr. Puustinen traveled across Europe from Finland to the Black Sea coast and the city of Mariupol, which is a front line of war.
He meets orphans, civilians, soldiers, and aid workers living amid an ongoing battle. At the same time, we experience their incredible faith and hope for the future. The trip’s primary purpose is to bring Christmas joy to the children of the Pilgrim Orphanage. The film conveys a strong message about how anyone can bring fun into the lives of others with small things.
The Finnish documentary “Christmas Joy to Ukraine,” directed by Juhana Honkonen, tells about charity. The crisis in eastern Ukraine, which has been going on for years, is compelling Finnish philanthropists to head toward the crisis area. The documentary shows the journey through Europe with all its challenges. There are several Finns involved and a real dose of Christmas fun for the children in the crisis area in the form of gifts.
The organizer of the relief trip, Timo Puustinen, a merchant from Jyväskylä, has been making donations to youth work and shelter in Central Finland for several years. The store also started collecting gifts for children:
“We bought used toys from kids in Finland for candy boxes. When we had a thousand packages ready, we started thinking about where to take them. We heard that the biggest emergency was in Ukraine. The decision was pretty clear,” says Mr. Puustinen.
The trip to Ukraine has been completed now several times: “In the first year, gifts were given to Ukrainian children who did not even have shoes on. The following year, a larger collection was held, and a double amount of quilted clothing and shoes were exported with gifts. From there, it just grew and grew,” Mr. Puustinen continues.
“Christmas Joy to Ukraine” film also involves viewers participating in relief work. For every movie ticket purchased, the filmmakers’ share of the proceeds will be donated to Ukraine. In this way, all viewers of the film will be able to help Ukrainian children living in the crisis area at the same time.
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