MERIDIAN, Idaho — Full Gospel Slavic Church in Meridian held a week-long donation drive for Ukrainian civilians. They collected food, water, blankets to medical supplies, and volunteers were shocked by how many donations were received.
Leo Martsynuk, Deacon of the church said in a few short days, their entire gymnasium was full of donations.
"No one expected it was going to go that big,” Martsynuk said.
Community members donated 2,500 boxes of supplies and raised $115,00 in monetary funds.
"We got a lot of donations from all over the Treasure Valley pretty much to the point where our floor was full,” Martsynuk said.
On Saturday, March 20 Full Gospel Slavic Church shipped 30 pallets out on a semi. The truck will go to Lexington, Kentucky where items will be separated to be shipped out by plane or boat.
"In Ukraine, they establish coordinating groups who know exactly where it's supposed to go and coordinators are working on the ground,” Martsynuk said. “They know where people are trapped and how to deliver everything exactly to them."
The church is working with 11 volunteers on the ground in Ukraine and surrounding its borders to get civilians useful supplies. He added, the need for supplies is growing with every passing day.
“I have one family telling the volunteers on the ground delivering food and water, and they said we were nine days without drinking water, what we had to do is melt snow to get some water to drink .”
According to Martsynuk, he is in contact with families in Ukraine on a daily basis. For them, there is no end in sight.
“It's not getting better because there are many people on the move at this point,” Martsynuk said. “The first wave was only a couple of days into the war, now we have weeks that people don't have any supplies."
Regardless, he wants the Treasure Valley community to know that each donation goes a long way, gets to the right people, and does make a difference.
"It's overwhelming, the response, so we really really appreciate everyone doing this you know and we are humbled by the response."
The church is still working on shipping out current donations. They are accepting funds, amazon purchases, and medical supplies by appointment. They plan to host another donation drive once all boxes have been shipped.
People looking to donate money can click here.
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