Just a few weeks ago, no one would have imagined that a country would be invaded, or that nearly 7% of the Ukrainian population would have left their homeland. It was reported on Monday that 2.8 million of the approximately 44 million Ukrainians have emigrated to other countries, with Poland taking on a significant number of these refugees. It seems a world away to some, but for us here at MEDRelief Staffing (a division of Advanced Health Education Center), it feels like it is happening in our backyard. You see, it is personal when someone you respect and care about is close to such a terrible situation. Let me tell you about a young man making a difference.
Citri Bell, a former MEDRelief employee, is a person that lights up every room he joins. He has this joy that exudes from him, a kind heart and smile for everyone he meets, and his laughter is infectious. I remember when I first met Citri, he was singing in an Easter service, and all I could think was, “That young man needs to be on American Idol!” Fate intervened, and he came to work for us instead.
While he was on a mission trip to Poland, he met and fell in love with an amazing young lady. He left us here in Houston to move to Gdansk, Poland and marry her. He and his family have thrived in Gdansk. When the war broke out, knowing Citri’s commitment to others and his kind heart, I had no doubt he would be a part of those assisting the refugees as they came to Poland.
I reached out to him to see how we could help. He introduced me to his friend and fellow Texan, Clint. They told me how their group had been helping to feed the refugees and collect supplies and clothing for them. They went on to tell me how the amazing Polish people were opening their homes to their neighbors from Ukraine, total strangers before now living in spare bedrooms. People from schools and churches are working together to help those who have lost so much.
Here are pictures of people participating in “Warm Border for Ukraine”, which is named due to the cold weather that is still occurring in the area. These photos are taking from Lviv, Poland, and the program is working on getting humanitarian supplies via train to Kharkiv, Ukraine. Supplies include food and medicine for the elderly, sick, and families with small children. Inspired, I asked how we could help. Here are a few of the ways to support their group if you would like to do so.
PayPal: Please use the email address email@example.com
GoFund Me: https://gofund.me/b7a1a1fe
Avant: https://www.avantministries.org/project/ukraine-refugee-relief please use the “Add instructions to the finance office” message box on the checkout page and type in Gdansk
All funds received via any of these platforms will go directly toward the Ukrainian refugee relief. I’m grateful for the people assisting the refugees and will continue to hope that this conflict is resolved quickly.