Our flight to Kraków, Poland was uneventful. Dana and I tried to sleep, but we were too excited to get started with the relief effort. Our plane landed in the late afternoon on Thursday and checked into the hotel. We settled in and rested. Friday morning, we attended a breakfast meeting with the leaders of the “Ukraine Relief Initiative” and “Kraków Debniki for Ukraine” (KDU) teams to get up to speed on what is most needed. The current priority is to get a community center up and running to serve 200 displaced Ukrainians and their 50 host families. We set up planning times to organize the tasks for programs, funding, and the implementation of the opening.

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

On Saturday, we attended an Orthodox Easter event at a recreation facility called the Artzone Cultural Center. It’s a community building that has opened its doors for Ukrainian women and children to use. It has games, toys, and activities to engage children. The Easter celebration had tables to make wristbands, other arts and crafts activities, and many games to entertain all ages. The moms had as much fun as the children! I watched a mother sing a beautiful lullaby to her 5-year-old daughter while soothingly rubbing her back. It was so touching! It was a great day that brought smiles and happy tears to everyone who participated. The strength of the Ukrainian mothers and children was so inspiring.

Making wristbands, Orthodox Easter celebration, Artzone, Kraków, Poland

Children playing games, Orthodox Easter celebration, Artzone, Kraków, Poland

On Monday, Dana and I met with the KDU leaders to organize the tasks needed to get the community center up and running. We have a plan! Woohoo! More to come later about that. As of this writing, you’re up to date on our action and contribution to the Ukrainian Relief Initiative.

Here’s an update on your contributions to the relief effort: Donors to my Venmo account last week helped fund these Easter care packages (clothes, personal supplies, and chocolates) for children with host families in the Debniki District of Kraków, Poland. You brought happiness to many Ukrainian moms and children. Thank you!!!

Ukrainian mom and son picking up an Easter care package… there were a lot of Easter bags in the background.

Beautiful Ukrainian girl holding her thank you art for the Easter care basket!

A little boy drew a butterfly with the Ukraine/US flag colors as a thank you for an Easter care package.

 

Spreading the word and donating are making a big difference. Thank you to all who have helped these displaced Ukrainians. They have left their homes, schools, family members, and a country they love through no fault of their own. Their needs are critical to their success in resettling in another country. We can all help their transition a little bit easier. Please continue to share with your friends and families and encourage them to share the message with their contacts. We all thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Be positive and stay safe, my dear family and friends!

Freedom is possible!

Much love,
Cindy and Dana

 

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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