Strange Day at TESCO

So, we are located at the largest refugee center on the Polish border. It’s vast. The services being offered are mind boggling. Everything from a children’s playroom staffed by volunteers and entertainers, to a service that helps with paperwork to enter a host country and finds sponsors, to medical personnel – both physical and mental health support, to security and protection, etc. etc. And of course the WCK meals – 3/day, open 7 days/week, 24hours/day, 12 hour/day shifts. This is like a small town where rumors fly and there’s no privacy. However, things have been changing here. There are fewer and fewer people coming here. There are many arriving at the Przemysl train station and they have no where to sleep. Apparently, they are having to move on. There are rumors that TESCO is closing down. Then the rumor is it’s not closing down. Then the rumor is that refugees have to move on beyond Przemysl. Then people arrive today. The rumor that’s at least mostly true is that the towns’ people and the town government seem to be in conflict over having the refugee center here, and first one group then the other dominates. The for sure rumor is that for some reason, ALL paid staff have been let go – ALL, including all the WCK staff – and new staff have been hired to start tomorrow. That’s so crazy, especially because we 3 were on our own during the dinner/evening hours bc our staff were too bummed to work. So we worked. With only a few mishaps.

The bigger news today is that we made contact with a guy at TESCO who has developed a supply chain network in Ukraine where independent drivers are bringing in supplies to different locations, all coordinated to deliver supplies of what’s most needed to the locations where they’re needed. This includes food, medical supplies (of all sorts), home goods, building supplies, etc. etc. They have recently acquired 2 warehouses, and are in the process of renting an old synagogue to house people, especially if TESCO closes. Most of his need is gas for the vans. Apparently, gas in Ukraine is both limited in supply and very expensive, putting obstacles in the way of his supply networks. Over the last 3 days, we have been talking with him and people he works with and we decided to contribute to his endeavor. It also seems to us that the biggest need right now is getting supplies into Ukraine. So your donations are really helping, even though we are not going into Ukraine.

The other activities of the day involved hearing more stories, saying goodbye to our new friends who are going to Amsterdam, Germany, UK, Switzerland, Ireland. They often don’t know anyone where they’re going. They can request a country, and certainly, if they know someone there who can sponsor them, that’s where they go. There are so many young families and young children, including many dads (which we don’t understand). They all seem excited to be going somewhere, though we shared tears with many of them as they told their stories, or thanked us for what we’re doing (which seems so minuscule compared to the need), or talked about family members left behind.

You are all with us as I write this. Again, thank you for your support and love.

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