ANNA SLAVYANOVA
(G. ASTRAKHAN)
PHOTO FROM DARIA SMIRNOVA'S ARCHIVE
Heart charity
Many caring Astrakhan people know one of the organizers of the charity project «Heart Affairs» Darya Smirnova.
The activist with a southern character and St. Petersburg's creative holds stylish charity sales #Сердешныйбазар, rock-trees and family festivals, dreaming of making good deeds attractive and helping each other as a sense of life.
Daria is difficult to «catch» for an interview - she is always in the thick of things. She
approaches to the organization of each project in detail, whether it's a picnic for mothers in the fresh air or large-scale sales to help children. Dasha's invented «Heart bazaars», where caring people give away their unnecessary things, clothes and shoes, while others find what they need, have become very popular in Astrakhan. The money raised goes to charity.
I am an advertising specialist by training. I went to St. Petersburg, worked there as a PR manager in a vegetarian cafe. Together with colleagues, creative guys, organized interesting charity events. I liked the idea of «easy», beautiful charity.

When I returned to Astrakhan, I had the time and desire to pass on my knowledge to someone. I wanted to convey to people that charity should have a commercial package, that attractive events and close work with the audience are necessary.
Several people on Instagram asked me where they can give things. So charity projects appeared.
At first, I absolutely did not understand how many things would be, how to sort them, where to store them, how to evaluate them. It happened that the first warehouse was at our place! We came up with the idea that stationary clothing stores should be in different parts of the city.
My friend-designer drew a logo for our events, the advertising agency helped beautifully «pack» the idea. On Instagram, I conducted live broadcasts, I just started them not with the words «but let's do it ...»,but «you can join the project ...».
And, indeed, a lot of people responded.
We held five «heart» events. At the first «Heart market» we sold some of the things, and gave 200 kg of clothing to charity shops for low-income families. About 350 kg of things were already collected for the second one last year! We tell in social networks how many diapers we buy, where we take them, we upload the video report.
An event is just the tip of the iceberg, you still have to complete a billion actions: negotiate with partners, find a place, decorate it, report on social networks ... When the number of events increased, it became difficult to do everything alone. Now we have a whole team.
I am a person of the world. I will feel good everywhere. At this stage, our family, my husband and two young children, we are good in Astrakhan. Here we have relatives, it is comfortable raising children.

I live by the laws of the universe. For 17 years I have been in the field of volunteering and charity. Perhaps this is how my parents raised me. They are very kind, hospitable people. When we were sorting things out for the charity bazaar, they, little ones, were lying nearby ... «Heart affairs» were born before their eyes.

I would like to open a social charity store, but this requires financial resources... I want to make the store commercially viable. For example, a mom who needs to get a job can work in it. Astrakhan women who are in difficult life situations often write to us. I want to help everyone.
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