From New England to Ukraine, a Christmas Convoy of kindness

Kindness and compassion made their way from New England to several orphanages around the Ukrainian city of Lviv.

The war in Ukraine has left thousands of children orphaned. Many Ukrainian orphanages get by without basics, like electricity.

Boston 25 News connected with some New Hampshire Rotary Club members who started a non-profit and then connected with their international Rotary partners to help children have a little bit of light during a very dark time. Their humanitarian relief effort had dual mission as Christmas is just one week away.

“To make the people warm and give them good heat and make the children happy,” said Alex Ray, Rotarian and co-founder of Common Man for Ukraine, a New Hampshire nonprofit born out a desire help the people of the war-torn country.

“A Christmas convoy of 30 trucks going to 21 different orphanages,” said Common Man for Ukraine co-founder, Susan Mathison.

Boston 25 News spoke with Ray and Mathison via Zoom from Zamosc, Poland.

“And we gave each orphanage a thousand sleeping bags, a generator, 18 tons of food,” Mathison said.

And a Christmas presents for every child. The group fundraised for months to make this possible.

“The help we’ve had over here has really been unbelievable,” said Alex Ray.

Ray tapped into an international team of Rotary Clubs, including Piurt Jankowski’s club in Poland.

“The financial support that is coming from United States from New Hampshire from Alex and his company, it’s amazing,” Jankowski said. “Once they start getting Christmas presents from us, they start laughing, they start singing.”

The group also delivered books in English and Ukranian. And, solar powered lanterns to light up some very dark and scary nights.

The brief visit gave the Ukrainian children a moment of reprieve, thanks to kindness shipped in from New England.

“If those moms and those kids can wake up every morning and be brave in Ukraine, then we can be brave and come to Ukraine,” Mathison said.

Common Man for Ukraine says they have left enough food for 40 days and they hope to be back with more when they need it. Plans are in the works for the next trip in 2023.

If you want to learn more about how you can help, click here. https://www.thecman.com/cman4ukraine

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