The Belarusians Raised Record-Breaking 90 000 BYN in Aid of Children by Heartful Runs

A Thousand Hearts Run on the eve of World Children’s Day became the most massive voluntary running initiative in the history of Belarus. “The number of runners in aid of children doubled in comparison with the similar run last year,” informed the press-service of the mobile operator velcom, the organizer of the initiative. Total distance covered reached about 30 000 km. including all heart shaped runs, which were converted by velcom into 90 057 BYN and transferred to the Children’s Surgery National Applied Research Hospital.

Velcom converted kilometers into rubles on 2 BYN by 1 km basis for an ordinary run and on 4 BYN by 1 km basis for a heart-shaped run. The idea for drawing by running appeared to be very popular: the majority of runners plotted heartful routes.

On May 31, on the eve of World Children’s Day, Nikolay Yushkevich, velcom First Deputy General Director, handed over the Certificate for 90 057 BYN to Konstantin Drozdovski, Director of the Children’s Surgery National Applied Research Hospital. All funds raised will be transferred for acquisition of unique equipment for early diagnostic of heart defects in children.

A Thousand Hearts Run took place not only in Belarus. Our countrymen in 25 countries decided to help children. In particular, Belarusians drew hearts around the Eifel Tower, Coliseum in Rome, Space Needle Tower in Seattle, Moscow Kremlin and Shanghainese skyscrapers. The social initiative was also supported in Austria, Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands. A large number of runners joined the initiative in Russia and the USA (these are the leaders in the number of cities participated in a Thousand Hearts Run), the Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. ‘Hearts’ also came from Mexico, Canada, RSA, UAE, Oman and Venezuela.

“A Thousand Hearts Run exceeded all our expectations! Drawing by running and thus helping children inspired Belarusians around the globe. We witness for the first time such a massive impulse and willingness to contribute into charity,” admitted Vyacheslav Smirnov, Head of velcom PR. “What is important, not only professional runners help children, but numerous participants were inspired to make their first run over years. Earlier an average distance made up 5 km., this year the participants who made just 1-2 km. shared their results too. Everyone’s contribution was counted irrespective of the kilometers covered.”

The kilometers were converted into rubles for a good deed. “We were surprised by people’s reaction to the urge to run in aid of children. There were so many different runners, from a child on a dad’s back up to the minister. A lot of Belarusians around the world joined the initiative too, moreover, among them professional surgeons working abroad. Everyone was united by a basic idea: to run for oneself (own body, tone and good mood) and others – in this case for children with heart disorders,” shared his view Konstantin Drozdovski, Director of the Children’s Surgery National Applied Research Hospital.

The social activity inspired Belarusians for records. Thus, YOUCAN running project participants drew a 60 km heart around Minsk while Victoria running club team managed to cover 650 km in a shape of a heart. Many took solo runs including marathon distances while one girl covered for several times a total distance of over 100 km.

A Thousand Hearts Run took place on May 27-28. Everyone interested run with a smartphone and posted the results in social networks with a hashtag #velcombegom or #велкомбегом. The initiative to run was organized by the Company velcom and under the auspices of National Olympic Committee and Ministry of Healthcare aimed at aid to children, popularization of healthy life style and devolvement of running culture in Belarus.

The Children’s Surgery National Applied Research Hospital renders surgical service to children with heart and chest organs defects. The specialists perform high tech surgeries on heart, including necessary diagnostics, heart transplantation or implantation of assisted circulation systems if necessary.