March 23, 2016
New York City: St. Vladimir Youth Association & Synodal Youth Committee launch "School Piggybank" Project

The St. Vladimir Youth Association and Synodal Youth Department are preparing a trip to Ukraine by the Synodal Youth Choir under the direction of conductor Adrian Fekula, son of Peter A. Fekula, the choir director of the Synodal Choir of Our Lady of the Sign Cathedral in New York City. During the trip, which will take place this May and be led by Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, the young singers will visit holy sites, participate in divine services, and perform concerts of Paschal music.

In connection with the planned trip, the youth organizations have begun a "School Piggybank" program, while the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America & New York, addressed the following appeal to parish rectors, administrators, teachers, and students of parish schools of the Russian Diaspora:

Dear in the Lord parish rectors,
administrators and teachers of Parish & Sunday Schools:

With our blessing and the blessing of His Beatitude Onufry, Metropolitan of Kiev & All Ukraine, the St. Vladimir Youth Association is organizing a trip to Ukraine by a choir of youth. During the trip, the young singers will perform concerts for the clergymen and parishioners of Kiev. The singers will also visit an orphanage run by the clergymen of the Kiev Caves Lavra, and will provide them material support. During Great Lent, this good deed will take the form of a program known as the "School Piggybank."

We appeal to you to help support the poor Ukrainian orphans. Every penny donated by your children to the Ukrainian children will mean a great deal. Collected funds will be of great use and support to these parentless children. They will be especially happy to know that children their age provided this help.

Christian love is expressed in actions. We hope that during Great Lent, your children will express their love for God and their neighbor by helping the needy Ukrainian children, which will also be a stimulus to Christian spiritual growth.

Moneys should be collected up until Palm Sunday (inclusively). Checks should be written out to the Prince Vladimir Youth Association. The transfer of funds can be arranged with the senior priest of the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign in New York City, Archpriest Andrei Sommer at (646) 320-7382 or by e-mail at After the trip, all parish schools will be provided a comprehensive report on how their collected donations were used.

We thank you in advance, invoking God’s blessings on your Christian labors, and wish you to continue to travel the path of Great Lent and greet the Risen Christ with spiritual joy.

Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York
First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad