We have a lot of exciting news this week! We spent a few wet days in Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. It rained for four days, and on the last day of our stay, it was beautiful. We were planning on golfing, but most of the golf courses were closed because it was too wet. We finally found an open course…we were so excited. And if you can imagine, after we drove our balls, they literally landed with a splat in the mud. It was hilarious…and so muddy! We understand now why most golf courses were closed!

Our next stop was Columbia, IL. We decided to stay at a hotel outside of St. Louis to go to a Cardinals baseball game on Monday. Guess who they were playing against. Ding, ding ding…you win…the Padres!!! The game didn’t end well for the Padres, but it was fun! After the game, we went to our dear friend’s house for dinner. It was a fun day of baseball and laughing with friends. Our next stop will be Warren, PA.

Welcome to St. Louis, MO.

On our way to the baseball game.

Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Cardinals vs. Padres, Monday, May 30th.

 

While we travel around the U.S., our displaced Ukrainian friends are never far from our thoughts. And the progress of the community center is remarkable. The kitchen has a new refrigerator and coffee machine. Tables and chairs are set up, and last-minute decorating is completed. Here is a time-lapse video of volunteers from KDU completing the finishing touches before opening. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiFBWxtjm7I.

The kitchen is complete with a refrigerator, coffee maker, and a cozy corner for hanging out!

The official opening for the community center is next Sunday, June 5th, but the Polish language classes started on Tuesday, May 31st.

14 Ukrainian women attending the first Polish-language class at the community center in Kraków.

This is what Olga Piasecka Nieć, the president of the NGO wants to convey to the community center supporters from the U.S. and Kraków Dębniki for Ukraine:

“Thank you everyone for making this possible! I am truly moved and love the support of so many people around the world playing their part, working together, and trusting each other…I feel this is the most amazing thing I have ever taken a part in. And knowing the impact it makes, hearing the stories, and feeling how this really changes how these women feel. I wish all of you could be here and feel it for yourselves. THANK YOU A MILLION!” – Olga Piasecka Nieć

My friends, this is what love of humanity is! We all worked together to create a community center that would offer services to our innocent and displaced Ukrainian friends. Your compassion and kindness have made a difference. My heart is overflowing with gratitude! They will have a place to learn Polish and English, job searching, a place for women to connect with other Ukrainian women, an inviting place for teens, a daycare with activities for all ages, and a food and clothing pantry. But we still need help to sustain this wonderful place of much-needed services to help Ukrainians and their Polish host families. Please consider a donation if you are able. And pass our message along to your family and friends. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Be positive and stay safe.

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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