Yelka (Christmas Tree) Celebration for Disadvantaged Children

For 20 years, the RCWS has been sponsoring and organizing an annual Yelka celebration in Moscow for over 1,000 disadvantaged children. In December 2020, we were unable to host such an event due to COVID-19. However, the RCWS team made plans to deliver Christmas gifts to 2,586 children from over 20 organizations in Pskov, Yaroslavl, Kislovodsk, Ryazan, Kostroma, Novomoskovsk, Moscow & Moscow region. We are happy to report that RCWS shipments with Christmas gifts were delivered to all the recipients. For most of these children it is the only present they have received throughout the year. 


On December 25, 2019, the RCWS hosted our 20th Yelka in Moscow. Thanks to our donors support, RCWS was able to invite 1,000 children to attend the music show based on a Balkan fairy-tale at the Theatrium in Moscow. Each young participant also received a holiday gift. For most of these children it is the only present they will receive throughout the year.

Some children traveled great distances to attend, coming from orphanages and schools in Novomoskovsk, Ryazan, Yaroslavl, Tula, Pskov, Northern Caucasus and Moscow regions.

Among the participants were children from over 25 partner organizations that RCWS supports: the Solba Orphanage for Girls, the Center “Preodolenie L, the St. Alexei School & Orphanage, the Center “Life in Motion”, the St. Nicolas Gymnasium in Kislovodsk, Spivakov Music Foundation, Rehabilitation Center “Krug”, Rehabilitation Center “Nelishnie Deti”, Gymnasium in Tutaev, Center “Inspiration”, Educational Center “Big Change”, the Center for Children with Down Syndrome in Ryazan to name a few.


A trip to the Yelka celebration and the opportunity to see the capital is something that every participant truly cherishes.

In addition to the cost of holiday show tickets, RCWS and our supporters covered the travel expenses for some of the young participants.

A special thank you to our wonderful volunteers in Moscow who helped to deliver boxes and distribute 1,000 gifts under a very strict time tile.

On behalf of the children who attended the RCWS 20th Yelka celebration in Moscow, we would like thank all our supporters and friends, who helped to make it happen.


It has been 19 years since RCWS organized our first Yelka, a modest Russian Christmas and New Year Party in Moscow for disadvantaged children. Today, over 1,000 children annually participate in RCWS’s Yelka festivities and are treated to a Christmas show and presents. This past December, over 1,000 children traveled great distances to participate in the 19th annual Yelka event at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior’s concert hall in Moscow, to see the holiday show “Master of Winter Forest,” and to receive a gift. 

The selection process for Yelka participants is highly competitive as they are selected based on academic merit. The children spend months diligently studying and striving to be the best in hopes of being awarded a trip to Moscow, a trip that is oftentimes the highlight of their year. Natalia Borodina, Director of the Pushkin School in Novomoskovsk, dubbed Yelka the Day of Happiness and sent us a “heartfelt Thank You for including the Pushkin School in past years. The children are exuberant at the thought of visiting Moscow, playing with newfound friends and creating joyful memories that stay with them for the upcoming year.” 


Among the participating organizations: Solba Orphanage for Girls, Children’s Rehabilitation Center “Krug”, the St. Nicolas Gymnasium, Center “Inspiration”, Pushkin School, Center “Preodolenie L”, Gymnasium in Tutaev, Children’s Center “Rostok”, St. Alexei School, Education Center “Big Change”, Center “Nelishnie Deti”, Center for Children with Down Syndrome in Ryazan,  Center “Kupel” to name a few.

Last December, RCWS personnel and volunteers, together with “Ded Moroz” (Russian Santa Claus), visited the Orphanage in Shatura, which houses 150 children with special needs, as well as over 100 little patients at the Moscow Center for Maxillofacial Surgery and the Institute of Rheumatology in Moscow to distribute gifts and bring some magic to their holiday.





Your support is vital in organizing the RCWS Annual Yelka celebration.