Tag Archives: shipping containers for Ukraine

New Momentum for Save Ukraine Now

(left to right) Leo Bard, Executive VP, Save Ukraine Now; Dr. Gary Kellner, President, Save Ukraine Now; Pastor Alfred Cockfield, Jr., God’s Battalion of Prayer; Ali Cinar, Vice President, Turkish Heritage

Save Ukraine Now has passed the aspirational stage and is stepping up to become a major player in humanitarian relief for Ukraine. After kick-off events in Chicago and Detroit, Save Ukraine Now has filled multiple shipping containers with emergency supplies and sent them to the nation, thanks in part to the stellar work of the Detroit Ukrainian American Civic Committee. The Committee has filled two containers and has raised more than $165,000 for SUN.

SUN’s strategy of building these collaborative partnerships has mobilized thousands of people across the country.

Our New York City network is also making major strides thanks to the leadership of SUN Executive Vice President, Leo Bard, in building a strategic alliance with the Assembly of the World Diasporas. The Assembly has brought together a nationwide consortium to support charity events for Ukraine and to organize both ethnic communities and volunteer groups to collect clothes, blankets, medical equipment and supplies, hygiene items and food.

Our diverse support from faith-based organizations rose to the next level as Mr. Bard started to mobilize the Muslim community to help those displaced by the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Mr. Mohammad Razvi, Executive Director of the Council of Peoples Organization, offered the use of more than 3,000 square feet of storage space in a neighborhood community center to store donated goods.

The Assembly of the World Diasporas also helped to enlist Chicago-based Re-MED Services and secured their commitment to contribute medical equipment and products worth $100,000. Similarly, the New York-based company, Vitaly Homecare Supplies, will donate similar items worth $104,000.

Pastor Gilford Monrose of the Mount Zion Church of God and Pastor Alfred Cockfield, Jr. of God’s Battalion of Prayer Church will help with the logistics, organizing the collection of donations in their parishes and arranging a press conference for New York media at the Brooklyn Borough Hall. President Ravshan Tagiyev of the Assembly of Nationalities of Ukraine will provide critical sponsorship and organizational assistance and will help with coordination as well.

Other communities are stepping up independently. The Spencerport Ministerial Alliance in New York is sponsoring a city-wide initiative in September. Living Waters Community Church in Meadville, PA is launching a similar effort soon, and Church in the Son in Orlando, FL is already underway.

SUN’s strategy of building these collaborative partnerships has mobilized thousands of people across the country. While we can’t report on every new development in this blog entry, we look forward to acknowledging many of our key relationships in a new section of our website, currently under construction.

Thank you for all you do.

— Gary Kellner

Time to Save a Nation

A few weeks ago, I was thinking about how we could meet the challenge of Ukraine’s skyrocketing humanitarian crisis — 1.5 million displaced persons, almost one million of whom are completely destitute. Our SUN team has been making steady progress toward our goal of filling 300 trucks with food, clothes, blankets and personal hygiene items. But with 10,000 to 20,000 new refugees every week, it will take 10 years to help everyone.

That won’t do. People are hungry now, cold now, sick now and dying now.

And then it hit me. Why not enlist thousands of civic organizations, churches, synagogues and schools in a national campaign to fill shipping containers with the items needed to save the victims of Putin’s aggression?

Sound impossible?

The “Greatest Generation” faced a much more daunting challenge in the days after the Second World War. When starvation threatened the lives of millions of Europeans in the wake of one of the worst winters in the last 100 years, the U.S. responded with the Marshall Plan—a project designed to save everyone and reconstruct Europe as well. A year later, when Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin blocked the highways and railroads into Berlin, the U.S. and our allies airlifted supplies to the beleaguered city for nearly a year. Air crews flew over 200,000 flights, providing up to 8,893 tons of supplies daily. Compassion and determination saved millions of people from starvation and dictatorship.

Whether responding to communist aggression in our parents’ generation or devastating tsunamis, hurricanes and earthquakes in our own, the American people have a better track record of responding to tragedy than anyone else.

Today, the people of Ukraine need friends, and they need them now.

Across America, in cities, small towns and suburbs, thanks to SUN, volunteers are now organizing their churches, synagogues, civic groups and schools to fill shipping containers with the clothing, blankets, medical supplies and personal hygiene items the people of eastern Ukraine need to survive.

All of us know people who will help … if we ask.

Friends, family, neighbors, co-workers will respond, if someone asks them to help.

If you will ask, Save Ukraine Now will provide everything needed for a successful campaign in your community, including promotional and informative videos, news releases, public service announcements, bulletin inserts, door hangers, and perhaps most important, staff support. The participating organization is only being asked to handle the freight, perhaps through a special offering or community fund drive.

The Greatest Generation saved millions from certain death. Now, it’s our turn.

Brochures about the container campaign are available for interested parties, and our national coordinator, David Brennan, may be reached at dbrennan@saveukrainenow.org.