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Thread: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

  1. #36
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    Hooray for the people of Poland as well.

    BRZEGI DOLNE, Poland — The tracks were first laid by the Austro-Hungarian empire a century and a half ago, linking Vienna with Lviv. But disuse and the grinding gears of time forced them out of service 12 years ago.

    Over the past three days, Polish volunteers working along with the national railways department have restored them as the country frantically seeks new humanitarian corridors to facilitate the arrival of hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees . . .

    The effort is part of a tidal wave of support Poles are offering their Ukrainian neighbors, with whom they share a tumultuous history marked by Russian aggression . . .

    “I would go kill Putin myself,” said Piotr Gubala, 35, a brawny construction worker, “but we’ll each do our own part to help Ukraine.”

    His and other teams have worked along dozens of miles of track from sunup to sundown over the past three days, repairing steel ties and shoveling dirt off the tracks, and they said they didn’t expect to be paid . . .

    The refurbished tracks run through the Carpathians, an arc of wooded hills dotted with ski resorts that runs from Poland through Ukraine to Romania.
    I'm not leaving.

    -- Mike Pence

  2. #37
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    Cargo delivered.

    Tomorrow is another day. I'm finding out what is needed, people here seem highly organised amidst the chaos.

    I'm whacked, but have a warm safe bed for the night. Better than most.

  3. #38
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    Happy to hear that.

    Let me know if highway tickets are to be adjusted.
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  4. #39
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    Thanks, will do.

  5. #40
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    I just gave to CARE Ukranian Relief. They’re dedicated to get immediate supplies, money, medical and psychiatric care to 4 million people, specifically women with children, the disabled and elderly.
    ITS CHAOS, BE KIND

  6. #41
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    Please send live info of hostile action, brief messages to my number. (SMS).

    +49 1522 375 2484

    Thanks.

    Edit. I am mostly interested in action affecting Western Ukraine. I will find out more today, but it can be that I will be used to transport disabled and elderly from border towns inside Ukraine or nearby inside Poland.

    Fast info sent direct to me can be very useful.

    Thank you.

    M
    Last edited by lupussonic; 03-04-2022 at 01:10 AM.

  7. #42
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    Stay safe, Martin. I wish I could be there helping, too.

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  9. #44
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    Martin - I am awed and stuck by your efforts. If i was closer, I would provide some direct assistance to you and your actions in this. Be wise, smart, rested and keep safe. The many need to your help for the long days and roads ahead.
    Without friends none of this is possible.

  10. #45
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    This link isn’t working for me. Anyone else?

  11. #46
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    I'm not sure what the proper thing to do is. I fear the democracies are providing enough help so it takes longer for Putin to occupy Ukraine. Will the people of Ukraine ever be able to push his people out without outside help?

    Perhaps WWIII is now inevitiaable, or Putin takes control of Ukraine, if not immediately, but eventually.
    "alternative facts (lies)" are a cancer eating through a democracy, and will kill it. 1st amendment is not absolute.

  12. #47
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    Quote Originally Posted by WszystekPoTrochu View Post
    The number of refugees has already exceeded one million. Half of them came to Poland, but it's Moldova that is under most stress when comparing to country size. Both states are starting to have issues finding/creating accommodation fast enough, even though preparations have started weeks before the murderers struck. It's literally freezing outside, Ukrainians can't be sleeping in tents the way things were organised in the Middle East. It was estimated that total number of refugees should reach between 1 and 5 million. The first million hit in a week. The first response is wonderful, long term support capabilities are still not fully known.
    The refugees can travel by train for free in (chronologically) Czechia, Slovakia, Moldova, Hungary, Romania, Poland and Germany. We've also cleaned and reactivated an abandoned train line leading to a smaller border crossing this week. Points of first contact in Poland are not having supply issues right now. Aid inside Ukraine is still flowing, unfortunately Kiev and Kharkov are cut off. Most of aid flows through various sized trucks, Czechia has also organised a passenger-cargo train sending help in one way and collecting people in the other. Sooner or later word "relocation" will need to be discussed. UK offers 200k places, Sweden on the other hand said they did enough in 2015.
    Refugee help coordination points are now, at least here, crystallized. We're transforming from a self created swarm to centralized, reputable, recognizable points. In case of Poznań, the number seems to have solidified on closely cooperating three. Most of the others still function, but no longer arrange everything separately. Good, it will prevent information chaos and should improve overall efficiency.
    Ukrainians are also eligible to free COVID tests and free vaccines. I've also heard of several kids that are already admitted to primary schools. Ukrainian refugees can legally stay in Poland no questions asked, however those that can document arriving Feb 24th onward will be eligible to social programs. This includes 100€ aid for each kid in the family (200€ if kid is under 2). The ministry is also preparing changes in work laws, facilitating Ukrainians to enter the legal workforce. Since 2014 a lot of them migrated to Poland, estimates vary between 200k and 1500k. Estimates are very rough since many couldn't/wouldn't work legally. Changing this benefits everyone. We also see that Ukrainians do indeed feel themselves okay in Poland, as few migrate further west. The challenge is to absorb the sudden influx and support it until Putin loses or they get on own feet.
    All good lessons on how to treat refugees. The US should take note, but unfortunately they won't.

    Thank you, Martin, and all that are helping on the ground there.

    -M

  13. #48
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    Ive been networking at a refugee centre in Opole all morning. I've made some good contacts but it is clear that to find those most in need in need to get to the border. Heading off now, probably to Przemysl. I've been trying for 2 days to pronounce it, not much progress.

    Miko, check your pms. Let's talk soon. I'm driving now.

  14. #49
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    My PM box is empty, unless you're talking about Alicja. Who redirected me to Maciej. Who assured you know what and where to do
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  16. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    What an effort. What a story. So glad you found a way to post the video. let us know what we can do. Can we venmo or paypal you some cash for gas or food, for the things you will need to carry on. Again be safe and wise. Thank you again.
    Without friends none of this is possible.

  17. #52
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    Thanks Ted.

    One thing that has struck me deeply is the strength of the Scouting organisation here and their cross border connections. Completely astonishing and I feel part of the movement again, even though I'm an old bugger. They are fully mobilised and are working really hard in this humanitarian crisis.

    I don't know how to organise a system for donations as well as run it while I'm here. Apart from feeling awkward for asking as I know many people have already donated, I don't have time to manage it. A border run burns about 100 euros of diesel with Polish prices (about 1000 km round trip) if I can transport 6 people at a time, that's around 16 pp. I can not sustain that for long as i have had only 300 given to me from friends in Germany and my main German card does not work here, dammit.

    Having said that, I just got notifications of 2 donations for a hundred each on the back if that video, so... Awesome.

    Maybe I'll post my PayPal address if I'm getting short. Thanks for that consideration.

    M

  18. #53
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    I told they won't trust a stranger at the border Happy that you did find someone that not only trusted you, but helped convince others. A hi-vis jacket and especially an ID from Opole centre is a good idea.
    Two of three major carsharing companies lend cars for free. I'll PM you the details. This should help with budgeting, if they have vacant resources (they definitely did not during this weekend)

    Even though I thought I know what Polish Scouts are capable of and I did send you to them, I still am very impressed with how well organised and capable they are. Truly wonderful.

    I have never heard about sh.theads trying to extort money. I did hear about elevated human trafficking threat. Either way, women being wary of strangers is sad but necessary. Evil thrives in hard times.

    P.S. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikiped...emyśl.ogg
    Last edited by WszystekPoTrochu; 03-06-2022 at 05:18 PM.
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  19. #54
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    Sad, heartbreaking, frustrating, so many things.

    Thank you for trying to help. Keep us posted when you can, and let us know how to help.

    Stepping up for friends and strangers is one of the strengths of the WBF.

    -M

  20. #55
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    There are so many charitable organizations involved in the relief for Ukraine, it's really hard to choose... it's tough to rank the needs in any semblance of order: charities that provide clothing to refugees? Housing? Jobs? Transportation? Medical care?

    I decided to pick just one, knowing that all are receiving contributions, and that every little bit helps. My choice: World Central Kitchen, the charity organized by chef Jose Andres. His notion is that in a humanitarian crisis, amongst all other needs, the displaced and dispossessed need... wait for it... chefs. A warm, nutritious meal might provide only temporary solace to a refugee, but is nonetheless both necessary and worthwhile. As of last week, Chef Andres was in Poland, moving bags of flour across the Ukranian border, where food staples are increasingly scarce.

    wck.org
    "Reason and facts are sacrificed to opinion and myth. Demonstrable falsehoods are circulated and recycled as fact. Narrow minded opinion refuses to be subjected to thought and analysis. Too many now subject events to a prefabricated set of interpretations, usually provided by a biased media source. The myth is more comfortable than the often difficult search for truth."







  21. #56
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    Not your everyday kind of help: a colleague from my corp went on the border this weekend. Ended up delivering a baby on the roadside
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  22. #57
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    Bravo! ^^

    5 adults (1 old man, 1 lady with cerebral palsy, 3 other women, 2 small girls and a cat delivered safely from Hrubeiszow to Opole last night. Almost 2000km round trip.

    Attachment 106808

    Attachment 106809

    Kaspar.
    Attachment 106810

    The last 48 hours were crazy. I slept in my van at Hrubeiszow, it was - 6c. Really wish I installed that woodstove.

    Route.jpg
    Last edited by lupussonic; 03-09-2022 at 08:46 AM.

  23. #58
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    Keep at it. Lupu, and keep us posted.
    Do you need funds?

  24. #59
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    Thanks for asking Birlinn. I'm trying to access PL state funds. If no result, I'll post my PayPal address and hope for the best.

    Day off today for vehicle checks and maintenance, and some rest.

    Another border run tomorrow, to Zocin.

  25. #60
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    Lviv, a city of ~700k inhabitants, hosts around 200k of the internally displaced. The government is fully concentrated on the war effort, not helping to support that mass of people.
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  26. #61
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    I woke up 0600 in Zosin in my van and took these photos.
    Accuweather said it was - 10c..still, nothing compared to Shackletons adventures eh?

    IMG_20220311_061827_737.jpg

    Made coffee..

    IMG_20220311_070745_761.jpg

    Then headed to the main sleeping tents to collect 2 halves of 2 families. On the way to the tents I came across a young woman standing, staring at the border to Ukraine, bawling her eyes out, all alone in the perishing cold. I gave here a hug and escorted her to Polish Humanitarian Association (PAH). God knows what she had been through.

    Following an 11 hour drive, the people were happy to be safe in Opole, although Ritchie the pug wasn't overtly impressed.

    IMG_20220311_174028_439.jpg

    I am leaving for Germany in the morning.

  27. #62
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    Quote Originally Posted by lupussonic View Post
    I woke up 0600 in Zosin in my van and took these photos.
    Accuweather said it was - 10c..still, nothing compared to Shackletons adventures eh?

    IMG_20220311_061827_737.jpg

    Made coffee..

    IMG_20220311_070745_761.jpg

    Then headed to the main sleeping tents to collect 2 halves of 2 families. On the way to the tents I came across a young woman standing, staring at the border to Ukraine, bawling her eyes out, all alone in the perishing cold. I gave here a hug and escorted her to Polish Humanitarian Association (PAH). God knows what she had been through.

    Following an 11 hour drive, the people were happy to be safe in Opole, although Ritchie the pug wasn't overtly impressed.

    IMG_20220311_174028_439.jpg

    I am leaving for Germany in the morning.
    Well done M. Go get some rest.

    I sure hope i can buy you a beer this summer for all you have done.
    Without friends none of this is possible.

  28. #63
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    I will allow that .. Thanks Ted, I look forward to it.

    M

  29. #64
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    From Nicholas Kristoff --

    My recommendation is to focus on those active inside Ukraine, rather than those helping Ukrainian refugees in Poland. Once refugees get to Poland or Moldova or other countries, they’ll get some help, and the most urgent needs are inside Ukraine.
    Destruction outside Kyiv. Photo from Kyiv Independent

    Note that the war may make it more difficult for these groups to function in Ukraine, and that there are also acute needs elsewhere in the world. The suffering of Tigrayans in Ethiopia, for example, is just as great as that of Ukrainians, and gets much less attention. Yemenis remain in desperate shape, facing hunger as well as disease but rarely making the headlines. And Afghans are going hungry — so while Ukraine is in the news, your donation may actually be more likely to save lives in a place like Ethiopia or Afghanistan.

    That said, people keep asking me about Ukraine, and here are some suggestions:

    Doctors Without Borders is just a first-rate organization that was already workin in Ukraine and is now figuring out how best to respond to the war there. I’ve seen Doctors Without Borders at work in many war-torn countries and have enormous respect for their courage and commitment. Once when I was fleeing an area in Darfur that I felt was unsafe, they were arriving. They’re the real thing.

    International Medical Corps is similar to Doctors Without Borders and also does great work in Ukraine. It has a reputation for staying after the emergency is over to help build local capacity.

    Kyiv Independent is a news source in Ukraine that many of us turn to understand the devastation unfolding there. It is raising money through crowdfunding on GoFundMe.

    Save the Children is active in Ukraine and has a fund to support kids caught up in the conflict there. It’s a terrific organization and has a network on the ground.

    Plenty of other aid groups do fine work and may be asking for your support. But see if they actually are on the ground in Ukraine or are simply helping people who have left the country.

    While there are more options, I think your investment in any of these organizations I name above will be money well spent.
    David G
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  30. #65
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    Dakhabrakha video, please view. They are musical performers from Kiev and once were featured on Prairie Home Companion.
    (20+) Watch | Facebook
    Last edited by Tom from Rubicon; 03-13-2022 at 12:33 AM. Reason: Needs title

  31. #66
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    martin providing the very definition of "citizen of the world".

  32. #67
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    Quote Originally Posted by L.W. Baxter View Post
    martin providing the very definition of "citizen of the world".

    Yes. Thanks for all the effort you’ve put in, Martin.

  33. #68
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    Wow, slow thread for all it's sticky.

    Now that I've had a few days back, perhaps a debrief? Firstly, there are tens of thousands of brilliant people helping out with what has to be the largest mass evacuation since any time in WWII in modern Europe.

    My limited experience: (9 days starting on day 9 of the war 3.3.22) of the humanitarian response at Pzrmysl, Medyka, Hrubieszow, Dolhobyczow and Zosin was extremely varied.


    Pzrmysl is a small town aprox. 12 km inside Ukraine, which is receiving refugees from both Medyka (actually on the border, mostly people bussed to the UA border, then walking across) and by train link direct from Lviv. It is a small town and is feeling the strain. The trains station is the hub, and is staffed by volunteers, the fire service, scouts, police, army, red cross and several NGOs such as JW org and PAH.


    Medyka has basic welcome / food / medical tents and is a short term place of refuge and rest before further staging further into Poland, as are the other camps I visited. It is chaotic and overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of people arriving but this is working out in a roundabout way, people are getting through despite a minimum 12 - 20 hour wait in the cold shuffling along to the front of the queue until they are free to travel inside Poland and beyond.


    Dolhobiczow has several town buildings pressed into service, people receive beds and food in sports halls and community centres. Busses arrive daily for transport mostly to Warsaw. Again, all services present but no NGOs that I saw.


    Hrubrieszow has used a massive sports hall for beds and food and has a seriously good organised administration system in place. PAH and JW org, Police who collect details of every driver to include ID, Vehicle reg, address etc, and the documents of refugees. Highly organised and a hub (at the time of writing) for transport, information, food, bed, medical. Attended by PL police, army, NGOs, volunteers.

    Zosin is just across the UA border, a landing zone for a few hours. Lots of hard core foreign aid workers, tents, welcome, food, rest. I was there twice and found several nationalities volunteering in the kitchens several from the US


    I found that the general system of communication and organisation at the border was at best chaotic, disorganised but eventually functional in terms of getting people medical treatment if needed, rest, food, warmth and information, SIM cards, and then transport into the Northern areas of Poland. Although it is not my first time in a conflict zone and I knew what to expect, I was surprised by the level of volunteer coordination, and the inefficiency of both supplies delivery and people evacuation as it pertained to me. I got 22 people and 2 pets out away from the border and into structured state relocation agencies, along with delivering 7 tonnes of aid supplies, but I could have done twice that if people had bothered to store a few numbers in their phone or think ahead a little...you know, get organised. I suppose that is to be expected when 20 year olds are put in a camp coordination position for 5 days or more; one of them I met seemed to think she was at a music festival, something different from her humdrum. I accepted her position as camp coordinator but was horrified that I had to twice reminder her to store some numbers and make some contact calls with relocation centres (the places I was driving people to). I also connected the 3 mid-Northern border camps with each other, as nobody seemed to have any contact details. People come, people go, people sleep, I get it but that really impacted me as people were not triaged for transport and ready upon my arrival. This meant sleeping at the border overnight and returning the next day, cutting perhaps in half my impact.


    Having said all that, I saw no major Polish state humanitarian efforts at all along the border other than the fire service and police, with army observers. They seem to be as scared stiff to move as the West is militarily in this war, perhaps correctly. So delivery of help has been entirely down to volunteers, Police, fire service and the Scouts who are very seriously networked across borders as well as internally and actually get stuff done, so it is not surprising that with so many separate organisations that chaos reigns. There are 2 million+ people on the move, none of this surprises me.

    The Scouts centre that I worked with was active nearly around the clock when I was there. I met many highly motivated, intelligent, extremely hard working individuals when I was there, all of them I hope to remain in contact with. We sorted, packed, organised and loaded 12 tonnes of aid supplies in my first 24 hours there. I caught a glimpse of the tight nit yet vast network that is the Scouts organisation in former Soviet countries. Truly wonderful to be amongst motivated doers.

    The refugee centre in Opole was a Ukrainian run, Ukrainian speaking organisation, staffed by several nationalities and run by a superb coordinator and 2 deputees, dozens of small apartments, a staffed children's area, trained welcome staff and even a psychologist on hand. At a peak they were process 300 incomers from Ukraine in a 24 hour period. That's rest / sleep, food and medical, registration and legal, information, advice, transport to Germany or somewhere in Poland or housing placement locally. They also oversaw several major transports of aid destined for inside Ukraine and to various border camps. Quite something. I made good with the ladies in the kitchen who kept a conveyor going of stout traditional nourishing food; stuffed cabbage leaf stews, real soups, salads, pierogi, liver casseroles and chicken feet broth.

    IMG_20220316_214001_140.jpg

    Corona seems to have vanished in Ukraina and Poland, apparently. I am not up to speed fully on it's numbers, but I should expect a spike connected to this evacuation in Europe if it was at all present in Ukraine preceding the invasion. Understandably it has not been uppermost on peoples minds, but none the less; I saw very very few people in masks, if any amongst the refugees. It is cold, people are in heated tents by the hundreds, sleeping side by side in community halls, travelling crammed into vehicles...in contact pathogenically with thousands of others every day.

    I have not fully processed either my time there nor what is happening in the larger extent in Europe today. It is hard to get a handle on the scale of events, and relate that to the individual minutiae of each person that carries a bag over the border; what kind of everything they have left behind, and the veiled possible futures ahead of them. How much of a crushing burden must it be to leave family homes, familiar towns with familiar places, jobs, relationships, friends... They are in the wind and need all our help.

    If a thirsty man asks for water, it does not need thanks for giving it to him. For me this was the ripples coming back.. once inside the refugee centre in Opole, in the warmth, after some food and relaxation after a 72 hour journey, this was a translated message I gave to the people I drove out of the borders.

    Ukrainian people helped my when I was in your country when I was there in 1991, as you may remember it was chaos.. money problems, food, water and transport extremely difficult. Ukrainian people shared what they could with me despite this, gave me shelter, advice and food, which I have never forgotten and think about many times. I know you have had a long journey and even now it is still not finished, but it has been an honor to share some steps with you. I wish good health, happier times ahead of you and the very best of luck.

    Thank you all who supported me in one way or another, with words or effort, and a special mention to Mikolaj who has been a stalwart reliable source of up to date information, intelligent advice and other resources which were invaluable to me. Thank you Miko. I'm sure you are still hard at it, you know I'm here if you need me.

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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians


  35. #70
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    Default Re: Helping Ukraine and Ukrainians

    https://unitedhelpukraine.org/

    Both links seem good points of donations if you don't have a van and a sleeping bag within 1500 km of the event .

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