Ukraine | A message from Myron Handzij, Director/Solicitor |

Ukraine – A message from Myron Handzij (Director/Solicitor)

Ukraine Flag

As many of you know, I am from Ukrainian descent. 

The events of the last week have been difficult, to say the least.  For my wife Lida and I there are disturbing resonances in the current invasion of our country that mirror events of 80 years ago that led to my father and Lida’s parents being displaced from Ukraine and having to flee to safety in the West. 

Yesterday, my sister, Sonia, received an email from our cousin, Olena,  who lives in a town in Western Ukraine which I reproduce below:

“Слава Ісусу Христу!

Дорога сестричко,стрику,і вся родино!У нас велика ВІйНА ,ми дуже у великому страху,весь час перебуваємо у підвалі,бо оголошують весь час повітряну тривогу. Що з нами буде я не знаю.Коли щось станеться ,то пам’ятайте що ми вас любимо і завжди любили. Дорогі мої від нервів дуже слабо,не можна взяти себе в руки. Анна є з Михайлом,перед війною,я завезла їй продуктів,тепер уже б не змогла,бо люди все розкупили і дуже багато іде в армію.Сонічка,стрику моліться за нас.Назар в Софійка у Польщі.Таня хотіла вивезти Максима,але дуже великі черги і хоче бути на своїй землі.Максим з нами.Ми стараємося його тримати в спокою.Сьогодні  як буде спокійно будемо робити пироги для наших солдатів,хлопців які нас обороняють.Поцьомай тата за мене,Ми вас цьомаємо .ххх.Бувайте здорові”

“Glory to Jesus Christ!

Dear cousin, uncle, and the whole family! We are at war and are living in great fear.  We spend all our time in the basement because the air raid siren sounds all the time. I don’t know what will become of us.  Should anything happen to us, remember that we love you and have always loved you. My dears, I am very anxious and am finding it difficult to pull myself together. Anna (Olena’s sister) went to live with Michael (Olena’s brother) before the war started (in the home village).  Previously I took them food, but I will not be able to do that anymore as the shops are sold out and many provisions are going to support the army.  Sonia, Uncle – pray for us. Nazar (Olena’s grandson) is with Sofia (Olena’s daughter) in Poland. Tanya (Olena’s daughter) wanted to take out Maxim (Olena’s grandson), but there are very long queues at the border, and he wants to stay in his own country.  Maxim is with us, and we will try to keep him safe.  Today, if it is possible and calm, we are going to make food for the soldiers, the boys who are protecting us.  Kiss your father for me.  We send you our love and kisses.  Xxx Be well.”

I am humbled by the fact that she asks for nothing.

It may be that you have already donated to the various appeals that have been created to help people displaced by the war and those who cannot or will not leave.  I understand that The Good Shepherd Centre in Keighley is organising transport to take items to support Ukrainian refugees.  They have received a list of items that are urgently needed which include:

  • Toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrushes, shower gel, wet wipes, sanitary towels, shampoo, creams, nappies).
  • Activity packs for children, good quality or new toys.
  • First aid items (bandages, plasters, painkillers).
  • Underwear, clothes and shoes (new or good condition).
  • Pillow, duvets, duvet covers, blankets, sleeping bags.

If you can, please help.  The Centre has asked that people donate only items that are either new or in good condition. 

The centre is located behind Our Lady of Victories School on West Lane (the former presbytery) and any donations should be delivered there.  The Centre can be contacted on 07756409246 or [email protected]

Thank you