Charitable foundation Vilties centras (previously – ‚Ekklesia‘) was officially founded in 1997, but the first shipment of charity items was delivered to Lithuania already in 1994. The founder of Vilties centras Larisa Cherkaskaja started a charity after she got financial help from strangers when she was in Germany with a sick family member.
In Germany she met a married couple that has already been providing charity to the disprivileged people of Klaipėda for a few years. Due to the mutual efforts the charity shipments started coming to Lithuania on a regular basis. Later collaborations with charitable organisations in United Kingdom and Denmark were established.
Due to the efforts of the foundation‘s workers during the first 13 years of the foundation‘s activity more than 1300 tonnes of charity items were collected abroad and distributed in Lithuania. It was not only individual people, large families, the disabled and retirees who were helped – charity items were also delivered to hospitals, orphanages, nursing homes, schools, associations of people with disabilities. Valuable medical equipment, expensive pharmaceuticals, furniture, matresses and bedding were given to these establishments. Individual persons were provided with food products, clothing, shoes, toys.
The number of disadvantaged and needy people in Lithuania is not decreasing and the foundation aims to provide them with a wide range of help, so we decided to serve them hot meals once per day. Thus in 2006 the first and in 2011 a second charitable canteen was opened in Vilnius; together they feed more than 500 people daily.