Unforgotten Gift

My name is Viktoriya Horb and the one thing that has been a constant factor in my life is my drive to help people. This is a story of how one person can impact and change the lives of many with the idea of giving.
            I was born in Ukraine and given up shortly after my birth. I spent 12 years in orphanages sustaining enough abuse and trauma to hate the world but that is not how I perceived it. I grew up with the minimum. I got only candy for holidays. I did not know my birthday until I was 10 years old because it was never celebrated. I had to wear the same clothing for a week before they got washed and I could only take showers on Sundays. They were very cold showers. Point being is I know what it’s like to have nothing. I know what it’s like to wake up hungry and know there is nothing you can do about it. I know what it’s like to wear dirty clothes and smell. I know what it’s like to have people look at you and think your garbage. I also know that despite all of that I had food on my table, clothes on my body, and a roof over my head. I was always so willing to give what I had for the benefit of others even when what I had was very little. I like to think gratitude was always a part of me and giving was my gift. When I was a little girl I would look out of my window into the big blue sky and say to myself, “one day I’m going to change the world”. I truly believe God placed me on Earth for a reason and I hope I can help people to not struggle the way I did.
            I was adopted by an American family when I was 12 and suddenly I was given everything. I am an only child and my family can be classified as middle class. My parents tried to raise me right. They made sure I wasn’t spoiled, needy, or ungrateful. I had what I needed and although they provided the things I wanted, I preferred to work for them. I got a job the minute I could speak fluent English which was at 14 years of age. I worked hard and saved my money and by the time I was 18 I had enough to buy anything I wanted. For a while I had forgotten where I came from and I learned very quickly that money does not buy happiness. Money buys sustainability and comfort but the minute you become selfish and greedy it means nothing. I went down a dark path at the age of 19, having no sense of right and wrong. When I came back to my senses, my drive to help people was even stronger. I just didn’t know what to do with it until one Sunday where I sat in Cape Cod Church and they introduced this new idea. It was called “Gifted” and its purpose was to empower you to use your gift to bless others. Often churches hand out an offerings basket where you place money to give back, however what this church did was they handed you an envelope. Your envelope had either 10, 20, or 50 dollars in it and the hope was that you used what you had to help someone in need so that one day that person could help someone else and so on. My envelope had 20 dollars in it and I could have taken the easy route of either just keeping it or quickly giving it to someone who was less fortunate but that’s not what I did. This was a beautiful idea and it got me to think. It was my opportunity and inspiration to do what I’ve always wanted. I went home and stayed up all night brainstorming and sketching my ideas of how to help people with just 20 dollars until I got one.
            There are 20, 068 homeless people in Massachusetts. We are the 6thstate to have the largest homeless population in America and maybe I can’t change that but what I can do is help them struggle a little less than they do today. I started a charity called Unforgotten Gift it symbolizes remembering those who are in need and gifting them with what they need. With just $20 you can make up a package filled with necessities and fun things for the homeless. It’s the perfect way to spread generosity and I cannot do it alone. If you are interested in helping me spread joy and happiness starting this Christmas please join me in my project. For more information please follow our Instagram account Unforgotten_Gift and email us at [email redacted].


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Viktoriya Horb 
Falmouth, MA
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