Donate to our Ukraine Fundraiser
We will update everyone who donates via email and keep an account which will be visible to all who make a donation.
My heart is bursting with happiness at how incredibly kind you have all been. Your donations have been so generous. Many of you are friends and family or extended friends and family and some of you I do not know at all. You are all incredible. I am so grateful for your kindness I am almost speechless but I know I must update you all.
Along with the donations we have now received offers of accommodation for up to 50 Ukrainians .
We hope that more will be added to these places but for now this is wonderful. To all of you who have offered an apartment, gite or home, I am so thankful. We will need them.
We Are Now Supporting Other Families Who Have Had Journeys Like This One. Some Even Longer.
Yesterday, 23rd March, We Secured Homes For An Additional 11 Ukrainians And Are Now Working On Placing A Further 40
Our first arrivals
Olga, Volodymyr, Artem and Oleksandr.
We are also providing temporary accommodation for Ukrainians travelling on to Spain and Portugal.
The generosity of our friends, family and people we don’t even know has been amazing.
We Could Not Do This Without Your Support. Please Let Your Family And Friends Know And Together We Can Do More!!!
The story so far ……
This began as an appeal to help fund a trip to Poland to deliver Emergency Medical Supplies for Ukraine and return with two families but has grown into something greater.
We worked with our local pharmacy, Pharmacie Pasteur Carcassonne, to purchase the medical supplies as per the list from the hospital in Lviv, Ukraine. Everthing was purchased at cost and we are very grateful for their help.
We filled the van and car with these supplies and also food and baby supplies and the team of three set off. It is a 2000km round trip.
Alan (English), Tim (Irish) and Edek (Ukrainian) did the drive in 2 days and arrived in Poland.
The supplies were delivered to the warehouse of our contacts in Oleśnica close to Wroclaw on Friday and delivered to the Ukraine on Saturday.
Alan and Tim stayed the night and Edek remined in Poland, they collected the two families and started the drive back. Staying 1 night in Heidelberg, Germany to split the trip in half. The Hotel Heidelberg were incredibly helpful and kind to the group both on the way to and from Poland.
A – Sumy Ukraine | B – Lviv Ukraine |C – Olesnica Poland | D – Heidelberg Germany | E – Carcassonne France
Both families had spent two weeks sleeping in a bank vault at night to hide from the bombs. The bank vault was the only place with electricity also. Once a bomb landed in a residential area they made the decision to get as many women and children out as quickly as they could.
Sidenote : In Ukraine it is a criminal act to distribute photos of locations and the war or bunkers etc. In Kyiv one person posted a video of a shopping center on Tiktok and an hour later it was hit by a missile. So we will not be posting any photos of the journey the families took. This is also why you will mostly see photos coming from the newspapers and tv news stations and not from individuals.
The videos above cover the war in Sumy when the families were being sheltered. Please watch.
The husband of one of the mums is the Fire Chief in Sumy. He arranged for the bus convoy to leave full of women, children and students and for its safe passage across Ukraine. He organised food stops and places to sleep. For parts of the journey the busses were traveling at 10km an hour. Eventually on the evening of the 4th day the bus convoy arrived in Lviv.
The next challenge was trying to figure out a safe way to get from Lviv to the border to Poland. After 2 days the group managed to get a place on a train. Normally a 1 hour journey, it took almost 5 hours. The train was packed and hot and stuffy and the ran out of water and snacks for the kids after 2 hour. The train stopped for 4 hours due to bombing close by and reached the refugee center at 1am. The contacts from Oleśnica drove to the border to collect them and bring them to a house until our team arrived. It was a harrowing and long journey.
The small group was welcomed and settled for a few days break with friends Agathe and Ian. They had warm safe beds, good food, peace and forest walks. The kids started to relax and wind down.
This weekend they move to Carcassonne. Their Ukrainian friend Anton has given up his apartment to Svetlana and her 3 children. He could only do this because Canadian friends Lisa and Chris offered him a one bed apartment in their house. Alan has provided a house for Maryna and her son. This is a massive team effort and everyone is so happy and grateful.
See the smiling faces below and know that you all are making a difference!
We hope to have enough funds to get families through the first few weeks with basic necessities such as groceries, sanitary and medical if needed.
There are no administration costs as everyone of the volunteers in our group are giving their time freely and Tim, Alan and I are all volunteering also.
Tim’s background in Peacekeeping throughout his 21 years in the Irish Army and with the United Nations he has the skills and knowledge to help people who are in a war torn country or those that have come through a war and trying to rebuild their lives. I have also spent time working in Africa as a UN Volunteer and we are acutely aware of the difficulties faced.
Every cent we fundraise will make a huge difference to all these families.