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?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.