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Save a family from freezing to death until 15th of December

Organized by: Stanislav Chachin

Stanislav's Photo
Stanislav's Photo

THE STORY:

Hi! My name is Stanislav, I'm 29 years old. I live in Yekaterinburg, Russia, with my wife Elena and our little cat Cassy. I was born here in 1986 and grew as a happy kid – in 90’s after  the fall of Soviet Union my parents were entrepreneurs, and everything was fine. I had pretty much toys, and later even camcorder and a simple photo camera. What more a young boy can dream of? Here is the answer actually - at 1997 when I was 11 I bought a bottle of soft drink and discovered a mark under the bottle cap. There was a number “5 000 000”. The meaning was – I won 5 000 000 rubles (non-denominated, after taxes it was about 4 250 000 rubles, equals $740). Wow! That was a lot! I mean, an average wage was about 1 000 000 rubles per month, so I won more than 4 of them! That was sooo much! I was absolutely excited and amazed how that is actually possible in real life. Finally I’ve got the chance to make my dream come true – I wanted to buy a computer! My granny had some extra savings so she added me extra $250 and I bought it. Since then I started to get my kinda geeky experience.

And after a year something bad happened. Well, you see, that’s pretty risky to do business in 90’s in Russia – in one weekend in March my mom and dad while doing their business-related things were murdered at their home. I usually spend every weekend with them, but that’s The Coincidence – exactly that day I was with my grandma and grandpa, so accidently I survived. It was a heavy shock for me and especially for my grandparents – they have lost their daughter. It is the worst thing when you have to bury your own child. My mom died at the age of 33. I was only 12 so I think it was easier for me to get used to the thought that I will never see my parents again. But my granny cried every day. She tried to suppress her noises – she wanted to cry quietly, so not to make me sad.  But in the end there’s always been a breakthrough and she cried loudly – I will never forget that, it was like a torture for her. I wish no one in the world would feel the way she felt. Many years has gone since tragedy before she eventually calmed down. She cried a lot of tears for all that years. Since then till now she is like a mother to me. She raised me, fed me, and gave me her love. I wish her only the best, she suffered much more than enough for her life.  She is 73 right now and she lives with her sister. She has some medical issues (she has removed gallbladder, have problems with kidneys, blood pressure regulation, hyperglycemia) so I try to help her as I can.

And what about me? Well, when my parents died childhood was over for me, life had changed drastically. At the age of 17 I finished high school, and went to University to become IT-engineer. At the same year I started to work as a junior IT-specialist, and after a while had several promotions to master system administrator. Later I’ve become Microsoft Certified Professional, promoted to IT manager and lead the IT support team consisted of 10 system administrators and engineers. The career was rather successful.

At the same time I still had my hobby with me – photography. I’ve practiced it since childhood, studied a lot of different technics, read books, visited workshops and master-classes of the best photographers of Russia, and learned from experience of best foreign masters. And when my clients started to offer me money after some free shootings, I realized that photography could be my other profession. After some time I started to make more money on photography than at my actual job, so I left my IT job, and now I am a wedding and family photographer. I really love that job – for me it is about deep emotional exchange and happiness. It is absolutely wonderful feelings when you meet happy people, getting really involved, have some empathy, and for example feel deeply what bride feel when she cries on shoulder of her dad. Or when you organize an engagement shooting the way that the couple would feel absolutely special, totally happy and free, and this experience they will remember forever, because it changed their lives, reveal their deep love and make them better persons… And of course it is a pleasure to see happiness and joy in the end when we achieve some awesome results! So this is a dream job for me.

Well, it was, until some influential people made some foreign policy decisions. And after that there are some sanctions occurred. Which means that for the last 1.5 years our family is struggling for survival in economic hardship. And this gets us again to the edge between life and death!!!

Shortly, our national currency dropped about 50% since summer 2014, many people lost their job, others had salary cut so now they get paid 3-4 times less! And at the same time prices for almost everything is rising, especially food prices - they are skyrocketing, sometimes we have to pay 2 times more than it used to be! So there is a huge depression in economics! Combine that with fact that we have to rent a place to live, and I have to help my granny to buy medicine - it makes it impossible to overcome poverty!

And at my job as a photographer things are going badly. Many couples who are getting married have very tight budget these days, so they decide to register their marriage without celebration and therefore without photographer. Some of them even decide not to marry that year and wait for better times. So I have little to no clients these weeks, despite that fact that I‘m looking for any potential orders almost all my time.

I’m also looking for any IT job that would help us. And I’m really encouraged to find something helpful and save my family so I spend about 19-21 hours per day to do these researches, which means I have irregular sleep only 3-5 hours a day! Sometimes I find a little shooting, so we can make a little money that is enough for buying some food for a several days. But it is not enough to pay for a flat!

My wife is a salesperson at clothing shop and there are also no clients (cause who would buy new relatively expensive clothes, if almost everyone thinks about how not to starve?), so her salary is pitiful too.

Despite our best efforts our expenses exceed income and eventually we had spent all our extra money that we had for a bad day! And now we have no money to pay for a rent at all! This situation has become devastating for our family! We are trying to save money on food but this barely helps. We are still optimistic, I believe I will find a job eventually and things will be ok again. But right now our family desperately needs support!

Right now we need to pay bills and rent for 2 months until the 15th of December, It is about $650 – this is what we are looking for – urgently! Otherwise we will get on the street - and that means homelessness, losing a job, frostbites and death. Because it is the winter in Russia, and temperature sometimes is minus 20 F (minus 30 C). The snow will go away only at May, so we need to hang on at least to May.

Our expenses per month:

  • 18 000 rub – rent (about $280)
  • 5 000 rub – bills for electricity, water, etc ($80)
  • 20 000 rub – food ($310)
  • 15 000 rub – medical help for my granny ($230)

It is $900 in total (per month).

To survive we need to make just about $900 per month. When there were no sanctions we used to make about $2000-$3000 per month, but with all that economic depression now we can’t even make $300!

So we are asking for a several things:

  1. Please donate any sum that you can! Any of your help, any donation can make a big impact in our lives, every single penny is on count! Time is running out, we need at least $650 until the 15th of December!
  2. I can work for that money – I can share my experiences via Skype, and answer your questions about IT, photography or anything else you found interesting.
  3. I can get more involved, I can come to your place, and we can arrange some shooting at your locations. It might be a wedding, family shoot or anything else - lets discuss! After finishing shooting I can show you how I develop those photos, I can show and teach you all my workflow. You can see an examples of my photoworks at my personal site: http://www.gagarin-photo.com/
  4. I'm looking for a job abroad and ready to relocate at any moment to any legal job, which will let me help to my family. Nothing holds us here. I can travel with my wife or alone. Basically I’m looking for a legal work (preferably IT or photography, but it can be something else) so I could provide myself with food, clothes and shelter, and so I could send $900-$1000 per month to my family. If you are able to provide with workplace or can help somehow else – please send me a message on Facebook.
  5. Please share this information at your social networks. We hope to gain little amounts from many participants, so we ask you to spread that post as wide as possible.

Thank you so much for your participation!!!

I’m sorry if there are any mistakes, English is not my native language.

I don’t know how to express all my thoughts, but I type this with tears in my eyes, and I want you to know that we are on the edge.

We've always been optimistic, but looks like now is the breaking point, when I realize that this is about actual surviving now. We could be thrown outside in a cold and die. Please help our family to survive.

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Stanislav Chachin

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