Standing Strong Together: A Beacon of Hope for Ukraine’s Children
Thank you to all who responded to our summer mitzvah call to Action!
During an unrelenting war in Ukraine, the resilience of its people shines brightly. Week after week, as I confer with my colleagues on the ground in Ukraine, I’m struck by their unwavering spirit in the face of constant challenges. The ominous blare of air raid alarms has become a disheartening symphony that echoes through their daily lives, causing them to pause and consider seeking shelter. But these alarms have become so frequent that seeking shelter every time would confine them to a life underground. The harsh truth is that the alarms are as commonplace as background music, a haunting reminder of the turbulent times they endure.
Such a reality is almost impossible for many of us to fathom – a life constantly disrupted by the echoes of conflict. Yet, amidst this extraordinary hardship, the people of Ukraine stand firm, demonstrating strength beyond imagination. And as observers from afar, we’re privileged to support them in any way we can.
As summer beckoned on the horizon, a request arrived that underscored the urgency of the situation. Ella Goncharova, our program director in Ukraine, with a deep understanding of the challenges children face in these turbulent times, approached us with a heartfelt plea: Could we send 500 backpacks, brimming with essential school supplies, in time for the upcoming school year starting on September 1st?
The gravity of the situation was palpable, with inflation hovering around 30% and the ongoing conflict causing the prices of necessities to soar. The prospect of providing these vital supplies to the children was not merely a material gesture; it held the promise of relief and a glimmer of hope – two emotions in dire need during these trying times.
Driven by the ethos of grassroots action that defines Action-PSJ, we turned to our community for support. A remarkable volunteer, Marlene Bohn, stepped forward to answer the call to action. She embraced the challenge and exceeded expectations in ways that rekindled our faith in the collective power of compassion.
Marlene’s story is a testament to the fact that even when challenges appear insurmountable, a single act of kindness can ripple outwards, shaping destinies and uplifting lives. In a world often overshadowed by uncertainty, her efforts remind us that extending a helping hand, raising a voice in advocacy, or simply standing together can bring about remarkable change.
With immense gratitude, we recognize Marlene’s dedication – she rallied hundreds of individuals and businesses, amassing over 12,000 units of school supplies. Moreover, she brought together nearly 40 people who meticulously packed and dispatched 600 backpacks.
The impact of this collective effort stretches far beyond the tangible supplies. It is a beacon of hope that shines across borders, reminding us that our shared humanity unites us, transcending distances and difficulties. The children of Ukraine, who persist in their studies despite adversity, are not alone – they are supported by a global community that believes in their potential and resilience.
As we reflect on the challenges faced by the people of Ukraine and the remarkable response from our community, let’s remember that there is more work to be done. The war still rages on, and the echoes of conflict continue to disrupt lives.
Together, we must remain steadfast in our commitment to supporting these brave individuals as they navigate these troubled waters. Every contribution, no matter how small, is a testament to our shared values of empathy, solidarity, and hope.
Let us move forward with renewed determination, inspired by the unity we’ve witnessed and empowered by the knowledge that, together, we can make a difference – one backpack, one child, and one step at a time.
Please read the story published in the Dmipro Jewish Community’s Newsletter.
Kol Hakavod–with deep respect,