A whopping ten tonnes of essential aid has landed at the Ukranian border as St Bride’s Church delivers a second lorry load of donations for war refugees.
One month into its humanitarian appeal, the local parish has succeeded in sending truckloads of supplies to Eastern Poland – the homeland of Father Rafal Sobieszuk.
Last week we told how a heroic mercy mission by East Kilbride truck driver Kevin Quinn saw vital humanitarian aid reach Ukrainian war refugees.
The grandad traveled more than 2000 miles from St Bride’s Church to the Ukrainian border after the church was overwhelmed with donations for families fleeing the deadly Russian invasion.
The Lanarkshire Live app is available to download now.
Get all the news from your area – as well as features, entertainment, sport and the latest on Lanarkshire’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic – straight to your fingertips, 24/7.
The free download features the latest breaking news and exclusive stories, and allows you to customize your page to the sections that matter most to you.
Head to the App Store and never miss a beat in Lanarkshire – iOS – Android
Parishioners have also raised over £8000 for the cause.
This week Fr. Rafal thanked Colin Lawson from Aberdeen for providing a lorry free-of-charge and his driver Chris Japp who made the second trip to Poland for the appeal.
He said: “We are now over a month into our Ukrainian war refugee appeal. It’s been very dynamic and overwhelmingly successful.
“Last week our second lorry filled with aid reached its destination. I am very grateful and offer a sincere and heartfelt ‘thank you’ to Colin Lawson and his driver Chris for providing us with free transportation to Poland.”
Coca-Cola East Kilbride again offered up their warehouse for storage and donated two pallets of bottled water for the refugees.
Fr. Rafal added: “The Coca-Cola factory again very generously offered us free storage for our pallets of boxes. This was an important operational solution to the great response to our Ukraine appeal. I am so very grateful to the managers of Coca-Cola for their priceless help in overcoming this problem for us.
“This time we had to load nearly two tonnes more goods than when we sent our first lorry.”
The lorry was waved off on its errand of mercy by “emotional” parishioners from St Bride’s Church who have been touched by the terrible plight of the Ukranian people.
Fr. Rafal joined the driver in Warsaw to help deliver the aid to Catholic charity Caritas Siedlce.
He added: “This time the donations totaled almost 10 tonnes of goods including blankets, bedding and sleeping bags which are essential for hospitals in Ukraine.
“There was about two-and-a-half tonnes of non-perishable food, nappies, medicines, first aid products and medical supplies, baby food, milk and wipes, two tonnes of toiletries and we even managed to send some sweets, toys , and games for children.
“I asked Fr. Paul Zazuniak from Caritas Siedlce went the following morning to Lutsk in Western Ukraine delivering aid. He met with the local Catholic priest Fr. Paul from the Cathedral church who thanked us all for the help which was so important to them.
“He also thanked us profusely for remembering them, for being with them and for our solidarity. Fr. Paul assured us that the aid would go to Kharkiv that same day.”
At the beginning of the appeal the church set up a GoFundMe page with a target of £5000 – the cost of sending one lorry to Poland.
They have now set another goal of £10,000 after raising more than £8000.
Rafal continued: “We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our donors. No doubt we were all touched by the terrible plight of so many people in Ukraine.
“We will continue our appeal, as unfortunately this war continues. After Easter, we will be sending three more lorries with humanitarian aid to transport the goods already donated.
“We will also continue taking the donations after Easter. Thank you and God bless you for all for your goodness of heart.”
Make a donation here.
*Don’t miss the latest headlines from around Lanarkshire. Sign up to our newsletters here.
And did you know Lanarkshire Live had its own app? Download yours for free here.