A year ago, On Humanity’s newsletter section called “Giving Tuesdays” was introduced as a collective mutual support group, organized for and by readers of this Substack. It aimed to be a core building block for the abundance mindset community.
Initially, I proposed a biweekly cadence to sharing requests and offers for help that you would submit via this form. Yet, readership was then relatively small, and such a rhythm was ineffective to sustain. Now that the subscriber base of this newsletter has grown appreciably, I’ve drafted some time ago a “restart” update for the mutual aid process, intended to be posted in September.
However, as life would have it, last weekend I came across a fundraiser created by a classmate from my university days, Dasha Koltunyuk (we attended the same writing seminar almost 12 years ago), who is facing a terrible family emergency:
Darya (Dasha) Koltunyuk’s mother was attacked by a shark earlier this month. The New York Times wrote several articles about it, which you can access for free via these links:
Dasha and her husband, Gregg, set up a Gofundme last week to help alleviate the considerable long-term medical expenses that treatment would entail. Dasha writes:
“My beloved, exquisite, and heroic mother, Tatyana Koltunyuk, was the victim of a shark attack while swimming in Rockaway Beach, NY. She has undergone 5 surgeries in the first 8 days since the attack, and will require more. Her medical team has told us that recovery will take several years of intense physical therapy and close medical monitoring, during which time she will have significantly limited mobility. Though the full impact of her injury is not yet known, it has left her with a permanent disability. […]
This fiercely intelligent and passionate woman emigrated to the United States from Odessa, Ukraine with my father and me when I was 3 years old. A few weeks after we arrived, my father died of a heart attack, leaving my mother to raise me on her own in a new country. The language barrier prevented my mom from continuing her career as a marine engineer, but she worked tirelessly to support our family. She made sure that I could take ballet lessons and piano lessons and have the best possible education; she took me to art museums and concerts and theater performances; we walked in every garden and park in the city that we could find. She worked a grueling life to ensure that I could thrive.
She is 65 years old and was eagerly anticipating her retirement, when she could — for the first time in her life — take a break. She talked about swimming in the ocean every day, walking around the city with a new puppy, and traveling with us. My husband and I will do everything in our power to make her retirement as comfortable and enjoyable as we possibly can, but the road ahead will be extremely challenging for her and for our family.”
Support Dasha's Family
Dasha responded to me in correspondence that she would be grateful for this fundraiser to be shared as widely as possible. So if you can afford to help and feel comfortable doing so, please chip in and share this fundraiser with your friends or family!
This also serves as a PSA or warning for any readers planning on swimming in the ocean (e.g., on Labor Day weekend) to be aware that sharks are found anywhere, even in the northern parts!
Long-term mutual aid
The mechanics of a reenvisioned mutual aid process will follow in September (it’d be inappropriate for me to dilute the above message with extraneous details in the same post). In the meantime, thank you in advance for considering supporting Darya and Gregg’s family in this challenging time!
Please feel free to use the thread space as you see fit (all relevant comments to this post will be shared with Dasha)!
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Initial NYT article (Aug. 8): gift link
Follow-up NYT article (Aug. 17): gift link