As the war in Ukraine continues to rage on, we’d like to keep you updated on the important work we and our partners are doing there to serve the people in need. Along the way, you’ll catch a glimpse of the catastrophic scope of the destruction the Russian attacks have had on many of the cities and villages located in or near the war zone. You’ll also see the tenacity and resiliency of the Ukrainian people as they continue to live their ordinary daily lives in the midst of this colossal struggle.
Nina Yevtushenko is GreaterGood’s representative on the ground in Ukraine and has reported on many of the relevant events that have taken place in the country. We’re excited to share the many ways your help has made a difference in May.
On May 11th, Nina, along with Greater Good Charities, visited Malokaterinivka, in the Zaporizhzhia region of Ukraine, an area that was recently shelled for more than two hours by the Russians. The urban settlement incurred massive damage, including more than 100 houses, a few of which were completely obliterated. Many people are working on repairing their homes or are seeking temporary shelter and resources. Our teams were able to supply them with humanitarian aid in the form of food kits, pillows, bed linens, and blankets.
On the 15th, the largest-ever team of Siobhan’s Trust and Greater Good Charities volunteers cooked pizza for the people of war-torn Kyiv. 22 people cooked pizzas out of 18 pizza ovens in three different vans at a rate of 400 pizzas per hour.
On May 17th, the team was in Balakiya, a place they hadn’t visited since last September, when it was liberated from Russian control. Several bridges and buildings in that area have been blown up, making travel to the area difficult, but repairs have finally been made, allowing us to visit the city. Nina reports that the place was “full of children and smiles” as they brought supplies to help the people live and thrive.
Our teams visited two locations on the 18th. The first was the village of Kamyanka, which barely exists since it was attacked by the Russians. Nina reports that everything has been demolished and that there are still active mines in the area, one of which exploded and killed a man on the very day of the visit. “There is no more life in this village; everything is destroyed and mined,” she says. Nevertheless, the team did their best to bring new life to the citizens with food and supplies to help them weather this terrible time.
The second visit that day was to Kharkiv, where some of Nina’s friends invited the team on a tour of the city, which included the Kharkiv Opera House. The opera house has not been functional since February 22nd, 2022, two days before the war began. In the empty hall, a particularly musical member of the team of volunteers played the bagpipes for a sparse audience. The bagpipe player and a violinist also played for the people in a city park.
Nina reports that Ukrainian officials have been asking the team to come to Borovaya for some time, but the destruction of bridges in the area made it impossible for quite some time. On the 19th of May, however, they were finally able to cross the reconstructed bridges and enter the village to help those in need with hot meals and supplies.
The 23rd of May was the Day of the Hero of Ukraine. Our teams were guests that day at the founding of the First Sakura (cherry blossom) Alley in the city of Dnipro to commemorate the occasion. Nina reports that military heroes who are currently not in the service due to their injuries planted the trees. Later, our teams presented them with Greater Good Charities “Good Packs” filled with supplies.
Nina says that the Ukrainian police have been calling on Greater Good Charities and similar entities to help support large poor families and those with disabilities in certain areas of the country. On the 25th of May, we were able to answer the call and send food boxes to individual home addresses in the following locations: Petromikhailovka, Ulyanovka, Grushivka, Dniprovka, Petromvistunovo, Sinuvate, Ternovka, Werbove, Velikodubov, Gnarovskie, and Druzhilyubovka.
In early June, Russian forces destroyed the Nova Kakhovka dam and the Kakhovskaya hydroelectric power station, placing 80 settlements and more than 16,000 Ukrainians in harm’s way by pouring 18 billion cubic meters of water down on them. The settlements on the Russian-occupied side of the Dnipro River were left inaccessible, and there’s no way of knowing how people there will fare. But for the time being, we’re working to bring food to the people on the other side of the river, which was previously liberated. People there cannot travel between buildings except by boat, and they do not have electricity or any estimated time for it to be turned on again.
GreaterGood Charities assisted Siobhan’s Trust volunteers in cooking and transporting pizzas via boat to people trapped in their homes without any way to procure or cook food. We served 12 villages in the Kherson region and plan to continue helping to the best of our ability until the flooding is over and the power is restored.
We will continue to keep you updated as we learn more about what’s happening on the ground in Ukraine. We’re heartened to see so many good things happening in the country and how much spirit the Ukrainian people has left. All the same, we recognize that there is still much to be done to help those who are suffering during this terrible war time.
You can help us help those in need by making a donation today. Your entire gift will go toward feeding and bringing supplies to those who could most benefit from it.