Tomorrow is the day we start on our journey

The packing is mostly done. The contacts have been made. The jitters have started (or are in full swing). And I feel ready to embark on this journey Many of you have thanked us for our commitment, our courage, our good works, etc. While I appreciate all the words of support, and the love you send along with them, I don’t feel like we are doing anything extraordinary…yet.  Maybe we will, and maybe not. We’ll let you know. As I said to someone yesterday, it’s like Obama must have felt when he got the Nobel Peace Prize before he had done anything. So, thank you so much for all your support.  We are taking all of the love you’re sending with us.  It’s very meaningful.  And we’ll report on our actual accomplishments during and after the trip.

What we have done is make contacts with several truly amazing people who have been to the border and inside Ukraine to help displaced Ukrainians. Apparently, from what we’ve been told, Poland is “full”, so refugees are going to other border countries, like Romania.  They are also going back to Ukraine but looking for “safer” places to go.  However, many people are in shelters in Poland along the border.  One woman we’ve been referred to is Christie who runs a shelter for moms and babies. She gives them a clean place to feed their babies, diapers, formula, and a community of moms.  Here is an article about her project. Ukraine refugees: What are volunteers doing at the Poland border? – Deseret News

Women and children, families, making their way across the border
In Medyka, a border crossing 10 miles from where we’re planning to stay. Ukrainians find supplies, clothing, information, etc. to help them get basics and figure out next steps

Christie is only one of the friends-of-friends that we’ll be in touch with. Some of these folks have been in country for weeks, or repeated trips.  It’s a constantly changing scenario, and they’re on the ground responding.  I think of these folks as the true heroes.  Most of them speak Russian and/or Ukrainian, and often they have recent roots in Ukraine.  I look forward to meeting some of them and having them guide us in how we can help.  Our main assignment is with World Central Kitchen. You my have caught José Andrés on Colbert the other night, with Ron Howard, who filmed the documentary about World Central Kitchen. It was screened at Sundance. Then shown in Somerville recently, and worth checking out if you can find it.

That’s it for now.  Tomorrow is a travel day, so I’ll try to check in from Warsaw on Saturday.  Stay tuned. Keep sending the love!  We will send it back to you.