The last few days, we visited the southern region of the Pantanal. We saw Toco Toucans, blue and yellow macaws, and many other birds. The Pantanal covers 42 million acres, so you can imagine there’s a lot to see! We flew north into the wetlands, where we would be for the next few days. We’ll go on a safari to see caimans, jaguars, and of course…more birds! Super fun!

Toco Toucan in Pantanal, Brazil.

Here we are at Campo Grande International Airport. Cool safari mural!

Even traveling in Brazil, we’re still in touch with our friends in Poland. In Kraków, the community center has art classes for children. It’s therapeutic for them to be creative and to be with other children who share the same trauma of war. Also, the teen classes are a big success. Teens keep a lot of their feelings inside, and sometimes it can be challenging to get them involved. But the community center is a great place for them to connect with each other. There are cooking classes, origami classes, and other opportunities for them to get involved. It’s absolutely delightful to see the smiles on all faces at the community center. Thank you for your generous donations to make this possible!

Happy children with their creative pictures of small animals! Beautiful!

Teens were learning to create origami figures. Look at their smiles!

This week, Piper VanOrd, Michal Piasecki, and Megan Ullrich made another supply run to the Nest in Ukraine – a makeshift home for 80 women and children that fled their homes. And because Piper writes so beautifully, I want to share her story of their journey to the Nest and Falcon. Enjoy!

“Arriving at the Nest brought all the emotions. With your donations, we delivered dozens of pairs of shoes, cases of shelf-stable milk, coffee, buckwheat flour, pasta, sugar, sunflower oil, salt, toilet paper, shower gels, shampoos, notebooks, laundry detergent, sponges, mop, cleaning supplies, and Legos!

As I looked around the yard, kids sitting in the grass together, moms talking with one another, laundry on the line to dry, I took a deep breath and tried to imagine myself in their place. Pushed onto the very outskirts of my country, having left my entire world behind, trying desperately to communicate with loved ones for months, watching as familiar neighborhoods and towns are destroyed, lives lost, with no clear end in sight.

Please remember this war rages on. We can bring awareness so they know we have not forgotten them, their loved ones, their situation, and their world. That they are important. If you can donate, ways to do so are below. If you are not able, please share this message; it may reach someone who can. Beyond contributing, please keep them, and the possibility that peace may come in your spiritual space – whatever that may be.”
– Piper VanOrd

Piper handed out treats to the children at the Nest.

Our mission is to give food and supplies in a practical way and to give love and friendship in an emotional and spiritual way that lets them all know they matter and are not forgotten. Thank you, team…we love your hearts and dedication to our Ukraine Relief Initiative friends.

There are many ways Ukraine Relief Initiative is helping our new Ukrainian friends. The community center in Kraków with daycare, language, art, and motivational classes, job searching help, food/clothes pantry, etc., therapy and school at the Psychotherapeutic Integration Center, and the van runs into Ukraine to the Nest, and Falcon – Oksana’s medical center. We desperately need funds to keep all of these programs running. Ukrainians don’t deserve the devastation of a senseless war. Thank you so much for your donations and support of these humanitarian efforts. Will you consider another small donation? And please share our message with your contacts. It’s up to us to help these kind and gentle people find a new life. Thank you so much! Be positive and stay safe. #peaceforukraine #wesupportukraine

Freedom is possible!

 

Much love,
Cindy and Dana

 

HOW TO MAKE FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS

These contributions are tax-deductible through HCC, our registered 501(c)(3) pass-through charity.

TO CONTRIBUTE BY CHECK:

Make your check payable to **Hispanic Community Council** (VERY IMPORTANT: not to Ukraine Relief Initiative). After you write your check to the Hispanic Community Council, please mail your check to:

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

Please indicate “Ukrainian Relief Initiative” in the check memo and include a note with your contact info (address, phone, email). * See the footnote at the bottom for details on the Hispanic Community Council.

TO CONTRIBUTE ELECTRONICALLY BY PAYPAL:

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 name, address, phone #, and email so we can process your tax receipt.

CONTRIBUTE WITH NO TAX RECEIPT

Venmo directly to my personal account now, and I’ll ensure your funds get where they need to be. Make sure to indicate “Ukraine Relief Initiative” in the transfer. Please give me your contact info (phone, email, address). You can Venmo directly to me:

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

_______

* In light of the emergency needs in Poland/Ukraine and the prohibitively long lead time of months or even years to establish a new charity in the US, the Hispanic Community Council of Chautauqua County (HCC), a local 501(c)(3) charity in the Warren-Jamestown area, has generously stepped forward, slashed the red tape, and agreed to act as the passthrough 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 passthrough charity. 100% of your contributions sent to HCC and earmarked for the Ukrainian Relief Initiative will go directly towards our mission of relieving the Ukrainian refugee crisis.

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