Getting more humanitarian aid to Ukraine

On the 119th World Rotary Day, 23rd February, and the second anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, 24th February, Rotary clubs and partners step up their humanitarian aid for Ukraine.
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The Bedford Rotary Ukrainian Support Project (USP), started in July 2022, led by Rotarian Brian Garner, continues to expand its humanitarian aid to Ukraine through joint ventures with the Plant Hire Aid Alliance (PHAA), Rotary District 1260 Foundation and Rotary Clubs locally, in neighbouring Districts, in Slovakia and in Ukraine.

This collaboration transcends borders and boundaries, hatred and horror, to deliver hope, humanity and compassion through tangible, practical support to the young and vulnerable in Ukraine who, increasingly, need it most.

From initial English language classes for Ukrainian refugees in the Bedford area, including child care whilst parents were studying, continuing through targeted support and advice, the USP partners in humanitarian aid convoys, dispatched at intervals throughout the year. Each Christmas, the partners send presents to the children in Ukraine. For Christmas 2023: -

It's a wrap! The last shift signs offIt's a wrap! The last shift signs off
It's a wrap! The last shift signs off

50 Bedford volunteers wrapped Christmas presents for children in the Ukraine.

45 Rotary Clubs raised £12,443, to buy 2,515 presents at huge discounts from supporting suppliers Padgetts via the Kids Out charity and Osborne’s of Rushden.

The deal with the Kids Out charity also funded the over 100 Christmas Boxes of Toys given to all the children in the several, secret Bedfordshire family refuges, as well doubling the number, by a further 2,500, of the toys for children in Ukraine.

Cost savings were gained on storing, packaging and transporting the gifts thanks to the generosity of Bedford Food Bank, All Saints’ Church Hall, Kempston and Ardent Plant Hire.

Children In Zaporizhzhia receive their presentsChildren In Zaporizhzhia receive their presents
Children In Zaporizhzhia receive their presents

700 wrapping hours were donated at the first “Wrapathon” in Framlingham on 2nd December. 100 volunteers wrapped 7,200 presents.

350 wrapping hours were donated by 50 volunteers at the second “Wrapathon” in All Saints’ Kempston Church Hall, volunteers, - from six Bedford Rotary Clubs, British Legion and Ukrainian refugees - wrapped 2,515 gifts.

Many more presents were donated by members of PHAA, plus another dozen from Wicked Uncle, so in total 15,000 gifts were shipped out to the Rotary network in Ukraine, together with other aid including women’s sanitary items and 11 tonnes of flour.

In Ukraine, all 15,000 presents were distributed to children most in need throughout the country by the network of Ukrainian Rotary Clubs, including to orphanages and in front-line communities.

Children In Borova receive their presentsChildren In Borova receive their presents
Children In Borova receive their presents

If any individuals or organisations would be interested in donating their time occasionally or contributing funds or other aid items to this project, please email Brian Garner on [email protected]

“If we sometimes wonder if Rotary can make a difference to people’s lives and are our efforts worthwhile, look no further than the photos of the orphans across Ukraine with their wan but happy faces receiving their Christmas presents.”

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