Putin and Ukraine are the latest example in a long sad line of history. Another madman invades his neighbors.
The past repeats itself.
We watch the news each night and wonder, will Putin resort to dropping nukes? Or will he let his despot buddy Alexander Grigoryevich Lukashenko push the button in Belorussia? I watch the maps showing a 50 kilometer long procession of tanks heading inexorably towards Kyiv. Ukraine is the country on the other side of Poland, which is the country on the other side of – us.
I take walks. I do the daily shopping and welcome my routines. Yesterday morning, coming around the corner I saw stacks and stacks of boxes in the plaza in front of our Town Hall. I went over and checked them out. They looked like supplies, the kind you gather and send as disaster relief or to refugee camps.
Back at home I immediately clicked into our town’s Rathaus website. I guessed correctly: our town square is Ground Zero for goods to send east. The Ukrainians need sleeping bags, clothes, shoes, socks, coats, blankets, and food, and bottled water, and toys, and games, and (this one just about did me in) stuffed animals for little children.
The invaded Ukrainians need bandages and medicine and soap and toothbrushes and combs. I have a collection of these items along with pocket sewing kits, all saved in case a house guest spending the night forgot to bring their own from home.
… Or someone in a war zone who left their house without the time to consider such mundane articles as the bombs began to fall…
I made a package and labeled everything in German and English. This morning on my way to the plaza I stopped at a bakery and bought some Butterbrezeln and belegtes Brotchen (buttered pretzels and sandwiches). The Rathaus website suggested snacks for the volunteers would be appreciated.
This morning at 9:00 workers are loading a giant transport truck. Over a dozen volunteers are packing boxes, sorting items into piles (a large one of sleeping bags). I set my little bag on a long table where a sign hung saying, Medikamenten und Hygiene. Someone directed me to place the bakery items by the coffee machine set up for the volunteers. A huge bag filled with pretzels was already there.
And I’m crying as I write this, even as I think in the worst of times some people show their finest qualities.
The truck leaves tomorrow afternoon and is scheduled to arrive on the Polish-Ukrainian border on Monday. The action is organized by the Heck Spedition GmbH and the international YMCA. This is a time to come together and give aid where we can, in whatever ways we can.
NOTES: © Jadi Campbell 2022.
Here is the information from the Rathaus website.
Hilfstranport für ukrainische Kriegsflüchtlinge
Für einen Hilfstransport nach Medyka an der polnisch-ukrainischen Grenze sammelt die Heck Spedition GmbH, unterstützt durch den CVJM, von Mittwoch bis Freitag, 2. bis 4. März 2022, Schlafsäcke, warme Kleidung, Schuhe, Socken, neue Unterwäsche, Decken, Riegel, Babybedarf, Pampers, Spielsachen, Kuscheltiere, Bürsten, Kämme, Medikamente, Pflaster, Verbände und ähnliches.
Sie können die Sachen zu den folgenden Annahmezeiten auf dem Gerlinger Rathausplatz abgeben:
- Mittwoch, 02.03.2022, 13.00-19.00 Uhr
- Donnerstag, 03.03.2022, 09.00-19.00 Uhr
- Freitag, 04.03.2022, 09.00-15.00 Uhr
Wer den Organisatoren bei Annahme, Sortieren und Verpackung, helfen möchte, kommt einfach zu den Annahmezeiten auf den Rathausplatz. Willkommen sind auch kleine Snacks zur Stärkung der Helferinnen und Helfer.
Der Transport wird am Freitag, 4. März 2022, starten und soll am Montagmorgen am Zielort eintreffen.
Kontakt: Heck Spedition GmbH, Telefonnummer 07156/43580
Wir danken allen Spenderinnen und Spendern sowie allen Helferinnen und Helfern für ihre Unterstützung an den Aktionen!
7 thoughts on “That Collection of Soaps”
It is harder here to collect direct aid, so we send $$. This is so painful. I often can’t listen to news for days at a time.
The important thing is to do what you can. I understand your dismay about the news. When Trump was President I couldn’t bear to hear news about his regime. It was also a kind of war.
It certainly was. And we will feel the after effects for years to come.
I know why you’re crying. The way tragedy brings out the best in people always makes me cry. The way people are being welcomed on the Polish border makes my heart break open.
It must feel very close to you.
It’s too damned close; it’s here. Europeans are freaked out. What stunned me (in a good way) last week was how swiftly our little town organized and gathered a gigantic truck’s worth of donations. It made me feel a little less helpless.
I cried as I read this. My ancestors came from Austria near the Hungarian border. As I researched the area, I was astounded at how many times they were conquered. Over and over again, people wage war for no apparent reason that makes sense. Just when I am ready to give up on people, a group does something over the top special.
Kate, our town contains many Germans who were originally from that region. One of our sister cities is Tata, Hungary. It’s 150 kilometers from Vienna – less than 100 miles. Putin is waging this war to push back borders and rewrite history and spheres of influence. And because he is insane. Please, don’t give up on humanity just yet. I am encouraged by the resolve of Europeans to stand up to a dictator and help others!