Dr. Konrad of Portiuncla Hospital organised a huge collection of essentials for Ukrainian soldiers and refugees recently.
The response from the local area was incredible and everyone contributed lots of essentials including blankets, towels, warm clothing, children's clothing, toiletries, lots of dry food, flashlight batteries, and medical supplies. The goods were transported to Dublin where two articulated lorries were filled and brought to a humanitarian aid centre in Poland to be distributed to thousands of Ukrainians refugees.
Dr. Konrad said he was overwhelmed by the generosity of the locals: “Huge thanks to the people who contributed, the response was massive. It really was more than we have expected. We actually received more than we had the capacity for but luckily, we had another warehouse assigned to us by authorities. I have been here for ten years, and I know the generosity of Irish people, especially when there is a crisis but the response really was just unbelievable. It was really heart-warming to see so many people are willing to help.”
Dr. Konrad explained there were still supplies being donated after the day of the collection and they are being distributed to Ukrainians who have moved to Ireland: “There is still stuff being donated and that is currently going to Ukrainians that have settled here, so we are trying to supply goods to them around the country. I know a family living in a three-bedroom house and there are nine people from Ukraine coming in on top of them. So, for the moment the supplies will probably be distributed here but probably in a few weeks time, some logistic centre will need help in Ukraine and Poland. Whatever they request we hope we can answer them.”
“If there is to be a demand for more goods, we will be notifying people through social media and hopefully we will see a response like we have already seen,” he added.
Konrad emphasised the importance of everyone’s efforts in the collection: “It was a huge team effort, there were thousands of people involved. I want to emphasise that the people who contributed were the real people making the difference. I’m basically channelling that help to get it to these places, so our role was really minimal, and it was the public that made the real impact.”
Fr. Bernie Costello Chaplin in the hospital has also been overseeing a financial collection for the support of the people in Ukraine: “I wish to thank you, the people of Ballinasloe and the surrounding areas for your generous financial contributions in support of my friends in Ukraine. Your generosity continues to be overwhelming and is very much appreciated by the people in Lviv – up to this point I have received €14,740 which has been transferred as of 24 March. Fr. Taras who is in charge of the parish of St. Peter and St Paul, Garrison Church, Lviv is overseeing the distribution of the money.”
“If there is to be a demand for more goods, we will be notifying people through social media and hopefully we will see a response like we have already seen,” said Dr Konrad
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