Picture courtesy of Nations Online Project

Dana and I are traveling to Poland on Wednesday, April 20th, and will arrive on Thursday, April 21st. As we’ve prepared to begin this journey, we’ve been deeply touched by many inspiring stories of how people have reached out to help the millions of Ukrainian refugees. As of April 9th, the UN said over 10 million people have fled war-ravaged Ukraine. Including 4.3 million relocated to bordering countries, and over 2.5 million are now in Poland. There are hundreds of volunteer groups with thousands of volunteers from around the world and within Poland who are helping resettle Ukrainians. It’s an enormous relief effort to make sure people are safe and have the basic necessities of food and shelter.

Most of the refugees are women, children, and the elderly. They have not only left their beloved country but their husbands, fathers, and brothers. All men under the age of 60 must stay to help resist the Russian forces.

Many refugees have left, and continue to leave, Ukraine on trains, cars (if there’s gas), or on foot. Their journey may take hours or days to reach safety. They arrive at a Poland train station where there are pop-up crisis centers. There are basic necessities like food, hygiene supplies, clothing, and children’s toys. Refugees stay at these pop-up crisis centers for a few hours, but usually not more than a day. Then volunteers help them find transportation to larger cities, where they are met by another group of volunteers. These volunteers help them find host families, jobs, and schools for the children. It’s a big task, indeed.

We are grateful to have the opportunity to join this important cause. And we look forward to sharing our skills and talents with the Ukrainian relief effort.

Our hearts are full as we start the most crucial endeavor we’ve been a part of. And we are humbled and grateful for your generosity and support of us and our Ukrainian friends during their crisis. The human spirit is alive in all of us. Be positive and stay safe. #peaceforukraine

Freedom is possible!

Much love,
Cindy and Dana

P.S. If you wish to stay in the loop, please follow us on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/Chenson33https://www.facebook.com/dana.smith.184881. We will post daily and email updates twice a week.

Thank you to those that have already donated to this humanitarian effort. Please elevate to your network if people are looking for a way to help. #standwithukraine

 

HOW TO DONATE FUNDS

TO CONTRIBUTE BY CHECK AND RECEIVE A TAX RECEIPT:

Make your check payable to “Hispanic Community Council” include “Ukrainian Relief Initiative” in the check memo, 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.

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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