Stories from Ukraine: Small Acts of Kindness

The following is being shared by GoAbroad’s Founder, Troy Peden, as he actively volunteers in Poland and Ukraine to help Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine. To read Troy’s statement about the conflict.

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A growing group of volunteers.

March 30, 2022

Shelley Burback Smith in Colorado shares a story of our trip to Ukraine. Her friend Karen Plessinger from Iowa is moved to act and donates. Mia Sarasua, a police officer in San Francisco reads the same story and books a ticket to come help. Ian Forster and Tim Cieslik in Newcastle find John Lawler and Kari Anderson’s efforts on LinkedIn and start a donation drive.

[My friend] John Lawler went on a Gap Year to Ghana in 1998 and commits his life to service in places of need. I volunteered abroad in the 1980’s and decided it was a pretty rewarding way to spend my energy. John and I met over shots in Istanbul or Beijing or Manchester.

[Now], John and I connected in Przemysl, Poland and collected the truck loads of donations driven from England to Poland by Tim and Ian and funded by Shelley and Karen and thousands of others [for “Operation SafeDrop”].

Santiago Peden, Mia and myself drove the gifts the last leg to Lviv, Ukraine to distribute to thousands of people who ran from their homes with nothing but their clothes on their backs and now find themselves hungry and penniless. They line up at The Palace of Arts in Lviv and receive their first meal, their prescription, a jacket, a toothbrush, diapers, baby food, etc.

All these little acts of kindness resulted in a moment of relief for a stranger in Ukraine who is our brother or our sister.

This is what is good about human beings.

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