“Relieve the crisis. Thoughtfully. With discipline and heart. Now.” 

It has been a whirlwind since we landed in Kraków two and a half weeks ago. We worked with Kraków Dębniki for Ukraine (KDU) and Ukraine Relief Initiative teams to get a community center planned and open by June 5. This will help 200 Ukrainians with resources for job search, Polish language classes, places for teens and younger children, and support for the 50 host families. It will also have a food pantry and clothing donations.

Update this week: The community center was cleaned, painted, carpet installed, and the floor prepped for vinyl installation. And thanks to a very generous donor, cabinets, and a countertop for the kitchen. We’re working on programming and funding. With the help of funds and materials, the community center will be up and running soon. The Ukrainian families and Polish host families will benefit from this community center’s services. We are all making a difference. These strong Ukrainian refugees and generous host families are overcome with joy and gratitude. Even though we don’t speak their language, with tears in their eyes, they touch their heart and point to us…the universal language of love.

Working with the KDU and Ukraine Relief Initiative teams has been nothing short of amazing. Each team member brought their ideas and skills to the table. And because of that…great things happened!

Many volunteers from KDU, Poland, the UK, and the US, have families and jobs and volunteer in their free time. They tirelessly show up and offer to help, just because that’s who they are…compassionate people! Some volunteers feel the stress of working 18 hours a day, but they persevere. Everyone wants to help!

We worked with a lovely woman from Ukraine Relief Initiative and her daughter from Pennsylvania. They packed lightly for their trip to Poland, so they could stuff their suitcases with medical supplies.

 

Medical supplies in the luggage of a Ukraine Relief Initiative team member.

 

There are volunteers all over the world doing their part. An American family had recently moved to Poland before the war started. They invited 20 Ukrainians to their home. And here’s an article of 13 volunteer stories to inspire and warm your heart.

We have made lifelong friends and it’s bittersweet to leave Poland. This experience has made an impact on our lives. After seeing the plight of our new Ukrainian and Polish friends, our problems seem so small. So as we head home, we’ve made the commitment to continue to work with Ukraine Relief Initiative (URI) in a leadership role. Thank you to all the volunteers and donors for your generosity. You all have touched us so deeply…I don’t have words to explain. The community center will open on June 5, but the work continues at a fast pace as the needs are enormous. Please continue to share the message of the much-needed help for these Ukrainian families. Thank you! Be positive and stay safe.

Freedom is possible!

Much love,
Cindy and Dana

 

HOW TO DONATE FUNDS 

TO CONTRIBUTE BY CHECK AND RECEIVE A TAX RECEIPT:

Make your check payable to ***Hispanic Community Council*** (VERY IMPORTANT-Not to the Ukraine Relief Initiative). Please include on the check memo “Ukraine Relief Initiative” and mail your check to:

Ukrainian Relief Initiative
c/o Gladys Archer
115 Main Ave
Warren, PA 16365       

Also, please include a note with your contact info (address, phone, email).

For details on the Hispanic Community Council* see the footnote at the end of this post.

TO CONTRIBUTE ELECTRONICALLY BY PAYPAL AND RECEIVE A TAX RECEIPT

Use this link:  https://www.paypal.me/UkraineReliefInitiat. PayPal goes through Gladys Archer, serving as a liaison between the “Ukraine Relief Initiative” and “Hispanic Community Council,” our 501(c)3 pass-through organization.

In the MEMO, PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR FULL NAME, ADDRESS, PHONE NUMBER, AND EMAIL.

WHAT IF I DON’T CARE ABOUT A TAX RECEIPT?

You can still send your check according to the above instructions. Or, for extreme simplicity, you can Venmo directly to my personal account now, and I’ll make sure your funds get where they need to be. Make sure to indicate “Ukraine Relief Initiative” in the transfer. Please give me your other contact info (phone, email, address). You can Venmo directly to me:

Click this link, https://account.venmo.com/u/Cynthia-Henson-12.

_______

* Hispanic Community Council of Chautauqua County (HCC) is a local 501C3 charity in the Warren-Jamestown area that has generously stepped forward, slashed the red tape, and agreed to act as the pass-through charity to process payments and issue tax receipts for our Ukraine Relief Initiative, consistent with their broad charitable mandate relating to international community engagement. HCC is not charging our initiative one single penny to act as our pass-through charity. 100% of your contributions sent to HCC and earmarked for the Ukrainian Relief Initiative will go towards our mission of relieving the Ukrainian refugee crisis, subject to the constraint that 10% of all such funds must be spent in the United States. So, in plain English, you give us $10, and we send $9 of it directly to our team in Poland/Ukraine to target the crisis on the ground there, and we are free to use the other $1 in whatever way we deem the best Ukrainian relief target in the US (e.g., supporting Ukrainian refugees who are resettling in the US). And at the end of the year, you receive a tax receipt for your $10 donation.

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