Principle #4 – Activate Your Learning Gene and Listen to New Ideas


It’s lovely to be home in San Diego! The trip to Kraków was fun and cold, cold, cold. We never imagined the war in the peaceful country of Ukraine would continue this long. But here we are. The URI and KDU teams were very productive. We discussed the current challenges of the increasing number of displaced Ukrainians arriving weekly. We worked together by being open to ideas and listening to each other. And I’m happy to say we created a plan for how to make the most significant impact on Ukrainian families in 2023.

The winters are cold in Poland and Ukraine, and there are widespread power outages in Ukraine. Some Ukrainians decided to stay home if their homes weren’t demolished. There’s a great need for generators, candles, flashlights, blankets, and warm clothes for those who choose to stay. But many Ukrainians are fleeing to other countries, including Poland.

The Świetlica Dębniki Community Center is at capacity. The leadership teams feel another community center can help relieve the overcrowding. With your help, we can make this happen for our new Ukrainian friends. I’ll share details when they’ve been finalized.

I had the honor of attending an English class at the community center taught by Lena. She and her family was the first family Olga and Michal hosted at the beginning of the war. This was just the beginning of a beautiful friendship and the creation of KDU.

English language class at Świetlica Dębniki Community Center.

There’s always something going on at the community center. At the door is a weekly schedule in Ukrainian and English. Some Polish classes are spilling out into the hallway. Check out the schedule below.

Schedule of classes/groups at Świetlica Dębniki Community Center.


The daycare is open daily, and there are music classes for young children every Wednesday and Friday. Every Wednesday, Ukrainian women make dumplings for their Polish neighbors. Last week Ukrainian women were invited to make gingerbread cookies and candy. When women work together, there are many new ideas for workshops. As I said, there’s always something going on at the community center!

It was fantastic to meet with the leadership URI and KDU teams and spend time with strong and resilient Ukrainian women at the community center. Being involved with the relief effort has touched me as nothing else has in my life. I feel fortunate to be surrounded by people that love humanity so deeply and want to reach out to help wherever they are needed. I believe this is why we are here…to love and help each other.

For those of you that donated to the community center, thank you. You have brought happiness to Ukrainian women, teens, and children as they work through their war trauma and find a welcoming place in Kraków, Poland. Everyone deserves to feel important and that they belong somewhere that is loving and positive. If any of you want to help us open a new community center to enhance the Świetlica Dębniki Community Center, please see ways to donate below. Please notice the new PayPal link and new address to send donations via checks. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your generosity and compassion. We can do so much together; remember URI + KDU: “1 + 1 = 1,000”. We are one team, one heart, and one world!

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

Thank you for following my journey to help the Ukrainian efforts. In case you missed a newsletter or want to follow my journey from the beginning, all the newsletters are on the blog page of my website, I will be taking the next two weeks off from writing. Dana and I will be catching up on sleep and spending time with friends for the holidays. I hope you all have a beautiful holiday and a Happy New Year full of peace and gratitude. Be positive and stay safe. #supportukrainians #hopeforpeace

Much love,


All contributions are fully tax-deductible through HCC, our registered 501(c)(3) passthrough charity.

Make your check payable to **Hispanic Community Council** – (VERY IMPORTANT: not to Ukraine Relief Initiative) and send it to the following address:

c/o John Kersey
208 Liberty Street
Warren, PA 16365

Please indicate “Ukrainian Relief Initiative” in the check memo and include a note with your contact info (address, phone, email).

Use this link: PayPal goes through the “Hispanic Community Council,” our 501(c)3 passthrough organization.
In the memo, please include your name, address, phone #, and email so we can process your tax receipt.

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