Dear colleagues and friends,

As you can imagine, we’ve had a busy week in Poland! We’ve been in the planning stages for getting a community center up and running in the Debniki District of Kraków. It will serve 200 Ukrainians that are living with 50 host families. We visited other community centers to see the layouts for programming the community center in the Debniki district in Kraków. Also, we had several planning sessions with the KDU leaders and Ukraine Relief Initiative leaders…in Kraków and via Zoom from the UK and Australia. Gotta love technology!!! We found a building, finished the final planning, and moved to the action phase.

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

 

Planning session for the community center…in Kraków and via Zoom from UK and Australia.

On Friday, the lease was signed, and we got the keys!!! Oh, happy day! The painting has begun, and the floor rehab is underway this weekend. We will be reaching out for donations for various appliances and furniture items to fill the space. We celebrated on Friday night with champagne and cheers.

Community Center lease celebration, Kraków

The community center will support job searching for moms and grandmas, polish classes to learn the language, general referrals, and women circles for support. There will be a space for teenagers to hang out with activities and toys for the little ones. It will also support and care for the 50 Polish host families currently housing and supporting our 200 Ukrainian guests in the Debniki district with a food pantry and clothing donations.

This has been a collaboration of the amazing women from “URI” and “KDU.” They have shown up in all their greatness to help displaced Ukrainians. We’re overwhelmed by their love, dedication, and talents to make this happen. Every day is a lesson in kindness and commitment to our fellow human beings.

Not only have we been working on the community center, but on Thursday, Dana went grocery shopping with a couple of volunteers and delivered food to help several Ukrainian families. Friday, she helped load a truck of supplies for distribution. There’s a significant need, and fortunately, many volunteers to help.

A grocery shopping trip for Ukrainian families.

Loading supplies for distribution.

Dana after loading supplies.

Many people, like you, have contributed to the Ukrainian refugee efforts, and we thank you! We ask you to help us spread the word to your social circles because this crisis is long from over. There are thousands of Ukrainian women, children, grandmas, and grandpas that need our support to start over in a safe country. Everyone deserves to be safe, fed, clothed, educated, and happy. Please help and share their needs. “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”- Helen Keller. Be positive and stay safe, my family and friends. #peaceforukraine #supportforukraine

Freedom is possible!

Much love,
Cindy and Dana

P.S. If you wish to stay in the loop, please reply “Yes” to this email and we’ll add you to our newsletter or follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Chenson33, and https://www.facebook.com/dana.smith.184881. We will post daily and email updates twice a week.

 

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. 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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