Artwork of a dove, the symbol of peace in the common area of the community center in Kraków, Poland.

 

My apologies for missing Wednesday’s email. We had spotty cell and internet coverage, which may continue for most of June. I’ll update our adventures and the progress in Poland when I’m able. Thanks for your continued interest and patience.

In last Sunday’s email, we wrote about the volunteers we met from the Ukraine Relief Initiative. We met a couple more on Saturday. Diana Elmquist and Gladys Archer. Diana, her daughter, and her sister volunteered in Poland when Dana and I got there. We worked side by side in the community center. She and Dana also worked in the supply warehouse, loading trucks with food and supplies to be delivered to Ukraine. She’s another super-volunteer that offers her time to help with whatever needs to be done.

After we visited with Diana, we met Glady Archer. She is our liaison from the Hispanic Community Council, the 501(c)3pass-through organization for the Ukraine Relief Initiative. She is the one that makes sure your checks and donations through PayPal get funneled to URI and then to the greatest need in Poland. We couldn’t do it without her or you, for that matter. Thank you for your support.

On Sunday, Dana and I met up with my sister, Deb, and her husband. It’s been a while since we visited them in North Carolina (our East coast home). We’re happy to spend three weeks camping with them. On Monday, we saw the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Museum and the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, NY. Lucille Ball was an amazing businesswoman. Cleveland was next on the agenda. We visited the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and followed by a Cleveland Guardians’ baseball game. We’re off to another campground looking for new adventures.

Tom, Deb, Dana, and Cindy at the Cleveland baseball game.

 

Last week has been busy and fulfilling. It was a pleasure to meet the volunteers. So many skilled individuals work behind the scenes to make the Ukraine Relief Initiative work so well. I feel privileged to be working with a caring and compassionate group of people. The work that they have done and continue to do is incredible. And working with our KDU partner has made a big difference in helping our Ukrainian guests start the next chapter of their lives.

The community center officially opened last Sunday! And it was a fantastic opening at Ṥwietlica Dębniki (common room). Many attended, and there were happy faces everywhere, young and old alike. There were a lot of activities and engagements of Ukrainians and Polish families. Check out the video of the opening https://youtu.be/SoUexZXlaTY.

“We did it; we did all the puzzles and got a place where we can rest a little, get a little help, and feel supported! There is a daycare where the kids will be looked after while you handle your household business. There are language courses to make it easier and better to understand. Here are new friends and new support. #ukraine #poland.” – Yuliia Mishchenko – Project Coordinator at Fundacja Kocham Dębniki

Crafts at the community center’s official opening.

Activities for all ages at the opening of the community center.

An entertainer at the community center opening celebration.

Daycare center during the community center opening.

 

Congratulations to KDU and Ukraine Relief Initiative in the U.S. and U.K. And, most of all, our donors…you made this possible! Thank you on behalf of humanity. Can we continue to work together and sustain the community center and help Ukrainians and their families that have remained in Ukraine? We know you may have already donated. We appreciate you so much; if this speaks to your heart, will you consider another donation? Please share the message with your friends and family. Check out my Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Chenson33, and share the stories of our work to help our Ukrainian friends. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Continue to hope for peace. Be positive and stay safe. #ukrainereliefintiative #standwithukraine #peaceforukraine.

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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