Ukrainian church prepares list of aid for refugees, but none are on the way yet

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Residents of the capital region are so keen to help Ukrainians that they are starting to offer their spare rooms to Ukrainian refugees – but it’s too early for that, says Catholic Church Father Mikhail Myshchuk Ukrainian Saint Nicholas.

Still, he’s starting a list this weekend in order to have resources ready when the United States begins issuing visas to refugees.

“We don’t have anyone yet,” he said. “Yes, a lot of people want to come but they’re not allowed to.”

Some refugees already have applications for visas to settle here with their families, but those have not yet been approved either, he said, trying to explain how long it takes to get the permission to move to the United States.

“Some people have families here. They had been waiting for visas for 10 years, they are still waiting,” he said. “It’s very complicated.”

He was amazed by the number of people outside the Ukrainian community who want to help. People donated enough medical supplies and emergency equipment to fill truckloads. The Ukrainian Catholic Church diocese is raising funds to pay for the shipment, and truckers in Poland are transporting the items to Lviv in western Ukraine.

Shipping is expensive, around $238 per pound. Monetary donations are welcome and can be made at 518Ukranians.com.


“People are so generous and they give so much,” he said. “We are faced with two things: how to process the packages and, second, how to pay the shipping costs.”

So for now they are focusing on specific, low-weight items: medicines and medical supplies, especially burn cream, antibiotic cream and bandages.

“All essential things. That’s the priority,” he said. “Later on, we’ll focus on diapers and other things, also necessary.”

It is essential that people only donate items that are in demand at the moment.

The church was able to ship a truckload of items on Wednesday and is currently working on another truckload.

“If you write something, thank people. Really, it’s amazing,” he told a reporter. “It’s amazing how people open their hearts and want to help in any way. From all our Ukrainian community: we are very grateful.

And while it’s too early to prepare for the refugees here in the capital region, he expects them to arrive eventually.

“We are thinking of creating an online list. People can sign up (on the church website),” he said. “If they come, we can have a list. We will start soon, today or tomorrow.


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