Auburn Catholics collecting donations for Ukraine relief efforts - Catholic Courier
A woman surrounded by bags and boxes crouches down to fill a bag with canned goods as another person holds a can of food toward her. People prepare food to be sent to Ukraine at the Basilica of St. Sophia, the church of the Ukrainians in Rome, March 7. (CNS photo by Paul Haring)

People prepare food to be sent to Ukraine at the Basilica of St. Sophia, the church of the Ukrainians in Rome, March 7. (CNS photo by Paul Haring)

Auburn Catholics collecting donations for Ukraine relief efforts

Auburn residents Cheryl Foster and Michael O’Gorman are spearheading a drive to collect medical supplies and other items for Ukrainians in need in the wake of Russia’s ongoing attack against the eastern European nation.

Foster and O’Gorman rented a 15-foot U-Haul truck and are inviting the public to help them fill the truck with supplies. The truck will be parked outside Holy Family Church, located at 85 North Street in Auburn, from 2 to 4 p.m. March 10.

“What we’re looking for is really medical things, such as medications, bandages, diapers, personal hygiene items like pads or tampons, the things that are necessary. We’re looking for nonperishable food items, warm socks, coats and blankets,” explained Foster, who belongs to St. Alphonsus Parish in Auburn.

The donated supplies will be trucked to St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in Syracuse before being shipped to Ukraine.

Auburn’s Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Parish is helping with the medical-supply drive and also is collecting monetary donations to support the relief efforts in Ukraine. Checks may be made out to Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church, with “Ukraine Relief” noted on the memo line. All financial donations will be forwarded to the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, according to Father Vasile Colopelnic, pastor at Sts. Peter and Paul.

“They will go to help the most urgent needs in Ukraine,” Father Colopelnic explained.

Members of the local Ukrainian community are incredibly grateful for the support already shown by their neighbors in Cayuga County, he added.

“People are very generous. They’re calling every five minutes (to offer assistance),” Father Colopelnic said.

Foster also has firsthand experience with that generosity. The idea for the medical-supply drive arose from a March 4 conversation she had with a friend who has family members in Ukraine. Foster decided to get a few items to donate to the relief effort and mentioned her plan to a few friends.

“By Saturday, I had a carful of things for Ukraine. By Sunday, my whole car was full. I can’t even put anything else in my car right now,” Foster told the Catholic Courier March 8.

Foster mentioned her efforts to O’Gorman, who said, “Let’s get a truck,” she explained.

O’Gorman said he felt compelled to take action after witnessing televised and livestreamed footage of the violence taking place in Ukraine and the men, women and children who are suffering because of it.

“It’s heartbreaking,” said O’Gorman, who belongs to Auburn’s Sacred Heart Parish. “We’re very lucky over here that we have such safety. The least we can do is help everybody out.”

Individuals also may show their support for Ukraine by attending a rally March 13 at noon at Memorial City Hall, located at 24 South St. in Auburn. The rally will be hosted by Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, which also conducts prayer services for peace every weekday evening inside the church, located at 136 Washington St., Auburn.

Tags: Cayuga County News, War in Ukraine
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