More than four million Ukrainians have fled their country since Russia’s invasion a few weeks ago - a scale of which hasn’t been witnessed since World War 2. Millions of women, children and elderly have fled, taking only the clothes on their back and what little more they could carry, including their beloved pets, while seeking a haven from the imminent threat on their lives.
It can seem helpless watching from another part of the world, but there are many ways to help these families reestablish their lives while everything familiar has been destroyed.
Next week, Lija McBride, Karlis McBride, and I are leaving on a humanitarian mission to deliver much-needed supplies to Ukrainian refugees arriving in Latvia. As first-generation Latvians, we grew up listening to stories from our loved ones of having fled Latvia, of their heartbreak leaving their beloved homeland behind. We knew we needed to take action.
As of Sunday, 20,000 Ukrainian refugees have registered in the Latvian capital of Riga, and over 3,000 children have enrolled in school. With buses leaving daily to bring supplies to Ukraine and returning full of women and children, Riga Deputy Mayor Linda Ozola estimates that as many as 10,000 Ukrainian refugees in Latvia haven’t made it to ask for help.
We will be checking in over 20 bags of hard-to-find/procure items such as sleeping bags, baby food, shoes, and school backpacks earmarked for Ukrainian refugees. Once we arrive in Riga, we will purchase desperately needed supplies such as formula, diapers, socks, underwear, and personal hygiene items to drop-off locations. We communicate directly with four non-profit groups working on the ground, sending us updated daily needs lists.
Your donations will go directly towards purchasing items going to Ukrainian refugees. Our travel expenses, lodging, and food are covered privately. Will you help us provide for these families in need?
Lija McBride, Karlis McBride, and Andrea Drougas