California’s ORINDA – A woman from Orinda has returned from Poland where she assisted war-displaced Ukrainians. She discussed the specifics of her trip and the neighbors who had contributed to her fund-raising efforts.
Sari Heyman volunteered for a multicultural center for two weeks in May, helping to provide free clothing, food, toiletries, and medicine. The hospice in western Ukraine received an ambulance from it that was supplied for border crossing.
Heyman said, “People just like us, going about their lives just like we do from day to day, lost everything.
With the aid of neighbors who helped him spread the word in the neighborhood, Heyman was able to raise more than $12,000.
Heyman said, “The people you see here tonight forwarded the appeal to friends who forwarded it to friends, and the money kept on coming in, sometimes from total strangers.
Heyman gave a presentation about her trip to those who assisted in getting her there on Wednesday night. For Heyman, a person of Ukrainian descent, the journey has been very personal. Two generations ago, her family emigrated from Ukraine.
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The woman explained, “Everyone in our village was killed in 1941, so my grandfather brought out all his immediate family and our other side of the family, since we haven’t been able to trace them back. I keep thinking that I might have been one of the refugees in need of assistance if they hadn’t left.
Heyman continues to assist with relief efforts while at home. The most recent effort involves attempting to assist a cancer institute in Kyiv acquire a generator to prevent power outages during treatments.