If Not Now, When…

I am the daughter of German refugees (they always described themselves as immigrants, not refugees, I have no idea why). My grandfather was killed in Germany and my grandmother, and many other relatives were sent to Poland and other Eastern European countries where they perished. Like many other people, I bring this family history to how I react emotionally to what is happening in Ukraine today, people being killed and others fleeing with only what they can carry to places like Poland, where they are being offered housing, food, medical care, and other assistance. Since the start of the war, I have devoured news each day about the horrors of the war and the stories of those leaving by the thousands, many not sure where they will be going, frightened, weary, and traumatized.

When I read the blog of my friend Anne’s daughter Meredith who went to the Polish/Ukranian border to deliver heavy duty supplies and provide refugees with transportation, my interest was tickled but if I went, I wanted to do something with a bit more structure (I am old, and she is not). I knew that World Central Kitchen had a huge operation at the border and Meredith confirmed that they were one of the top organizations giving direct assistance to those arriving from Ukraine. To me, food is love. I love cooking meals for people. During the past 2 years of Covid, one of the things that kept me relatively sane was cooking food to share with friends. Of course, I wanted to volunteer with World Central Kitchen!! I was concerned about standing for 12 hours peeling potatoes but had the option to do food delivery rather than kitchen work, giving people food…what could be better!

I feel so fortunate to be going with Sandy and Bruce, serious travelers. We are pretty much set with a great apartment 10 minutes from our “job”, a stick shift car, and, most important, funds from all of you to provide Ukranian refugees with some material assistance to lighten their loads just a bit.

I have tried to walk the walk in the political work that I do and now I get to do that at least a bit with this volunteer opportunity. So why am I going to the Polish/Ukranian border? Because I can.