Principle #5 – Become a better person by working with kind and loving people.

After the URI/KDU fundraiser, Dana and I loaded up Athena and headed to Arizona for two weeks. Padres’ spring training! What??? Baseball…my favorite thing!!! We went to five games! We’ve been traveling around the U.S. for the last two years, so we missed a lot of the games. But this year, we’ll be home for more games. We even went to the Padres’ opening game. They didn’t win, but it was fun all the same.

Our next trip is in April. We are going on a ten-day Eastern Europe tour with my sister, Deb, and her husband. We’re meeting them in Budapest, Vienna, and Prague. Then we are going to Kraków for a week. Barbara and Kevin Gunning, the fundraiser co-hosts, will be meeting us in Poland too. We’re excited to offer our service where KDU needs us.

It’s been a year since my colleagues, and I created Ukraine Relief Initiative. We’ve accomplished so much! We couldn’t have done anything without the KDU founders/leadership team, Olga Piasecka Nieć, Michal Piasecka, and Lucja Malec-Kornajew. I have never worked with a team that has given so much of its heart to help others. And they don’t see it in themselves…it’s just who they are! Maybe you’ll understand more when you read the letter below from KDU.

“OUR PEOPLE: Amy Pollack Kemp, Cindy Henson, Matt McKissock, Ethan Evans

Exactly a year ago, we met a bunch of amazing people, who have irreversibly changed the course of our lives, the lives of hundreds of Ukrainian families, and the landscape of our district, Stare Dębniki

Since then, day by day, they have been caring for us, empowering us, worrying about how we are doing, and guiding us in our darkest moments. 

Świetlica Dębniki would not exist if it wasn’t for the funds they’ve raised. But that is only a part of their support. 

Necessary, but definitely not the most important to us. 

For 356 days, they have been asking us all the right questions, dedicating their time, hearts, and souls to caring about our community, our team, and our neighborhood. Holding us in their hearts and thoughts, making sure we are not carrying the burden of the crisis alone. 

We have spent countless hours together brainstorming, planning, and designing. Budgeting, fundraising, and problem-solving. 

An ocean apart, there is a community of love and care that has been silently nurturing Stare Dębniki and keeping us safe and sound. 

Four people who were not indifferent to violence and suffering, followed by hundreds of their friends and families, joined the effort to create a safe space for Ukrainian families to heal. 

Our district gained a new home, open to everyone, that you all created together with us. 

The list is too long to name everyone. 

Amy, Matt, Ethan, and Cindy, you are extraordinary humans. Thank you.”

URI leadership team and volunteers!

We’ve helped thousands of Ukrainians with your support, our families, and our friends. I have no words to thank you for your trust, encouragement, compassion, and generosity. Thank you for helping us provide a safe haven in Kraków and funding many trips into Ukraine. Without you, we couldn’t have been able to open the Świetlica Dębniki Community Center and take supplies to the Nest (refugee center) and the Falcon (Oksana’s hospital) in Ukraine.

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

If you would like to volunteer in Kraków or behind the scenes in the U.S., please reply to this email. We welcome your donations; no amount is too small. Please see the bottom of the email for ways to donate. URI + KDU: “1 + 1 = 1,000” Thank you, thank you! I appreciate each of you for your compassion and being in my circle of love. Be positive and stay safe.

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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