'Dr. Liza' heads a free clinic that helps Moscow's homeless and hopeless
From her clinic, Elizaveta Glinka and her volunteers give food, clothing, medicine, and other help to Moscow's homeless.
Elizaveta Glinka quit her job at a medical clinic to start her own clinic and treat homeless people and seriously ill patients free of charge in Moscow.Skip to next paragraph
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Also a blogger and a charity activist, she's a doctor who gives hope to those who have lost it.
All three roles merge in this tiny lady. Every day she comes to a basement office on Pyatnitskaya Street in Moscow, the office from which her charity fund operates.
"I want to help patients who have no faith" that they can recover, says Dr. Glinka, or Dr. Liza, as she is known.
In 1986 she received a degree as an emergency physician from the First Moscow Medical State University. That same year she immigrated with her husband to the United States, but the couple later returned to Russia.
Her first experience in the charity field dates to 1999, when she started the first private hospice in Kiev, Ukraine. Eight years later Glinka created a charity fund in Moscow called "Just Help," which aids seriously ill patients, homeless people, and poor families.
Glinka and her volunteers give medications, food, clothes, and other goods to those who cannot afford them.
Several years ago she started a blog with the nickname "doctor_liza" to promote the activities of her organization. In 2010 she was named blogger of the year in the Russian Internet contest ROTOR.
"People often ask me why I am doing this. It's hard to explain. I just like this job," Glinka says.
Tatiana, a volunteer for the past three years, describes Glinka as "a person who cannot pass by when she sees someone in trouble."
Some time ago one of Tatiana's daughters died in a car accident. The other survived but was severely injured.
"Our grief brought us together. Dr. Liza's mother was ill; my daughter was suffering. That's how we got close," she says.
"Just Help" is a private effort that doesn't receive any financial aid from the Russian government. Glinka has never asked for government aid as she appreciates her financial independence.
Although now she holds the title of executive director, she still treats patients, feeds homeless people, and listens to the problems of those in need.
The organization operates thanks to charity and the money invested by Glinka's team. She doesn't know the exact number of people helping her, but there are about seven volunteers who work on a regular basis at the organization's office.
Glinka gave up her job in the medical clinic to devote all her time to charity work and her own clinic, which costs between $10,000 and $13,000 a month to run.