As the Russian aggression in Ukraine enters its eighth month, the humanitarian crisis has never been greater. With the renewed aggression and most recent bombings of civilian infrastructures, the innocent civilians of Ukraine are not only suffering physical injuries, but also mental anguish.
Bundled up against the chill breeze, hundreds of Ukrainians queued to receive a bag of food, pasta, preserves, diapers, hygienic necessities graciously sponsored by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA through the generous donations of her faithful.
Withered hands trembled as they joyously accepted a loaf of bread, a child’s face broke out in a smile at the site of chocolate after months of existing on meager rations, a new mother cried as she was given a canister of baby formula and diapers, and an elderly grandfather wiped tears as he humbly accepted a package of canned provisions.
As the residents patiently waited their turn, they quietly discussed their experiences with each other, offering words of support, commiserating, encouraging, and ensuring each other of their prayers, for it was only through the Grace of God that they were spared in the latest unprovoked shelling.
The Church, under the leadership and guidance of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, Prime Hierarch of the UOC of USA and Diaspora, and His Eminence Archbishop Daniel, Ruling Hierarch of the Western Eparchy, following the instructions of Christ to care for the widows, orphans, and all those in need continues to do all it can to provide care such as food, clothing, and other necessities of life, but also works to support those who defend the civilians of Ukraine. In addition to purchasing several ambulances which aid both civilians and military personnel, the Church has actively purchased and provided for the needs of the freedom fighters such as warm thermal socks, shoes, vests, and medical kits to enable the brave men and women who are fighting to defend the freedom of Ukraine, and the world, to keep doing what they are doing.
Thanks to the generous donations of the faithful of the UOC of USA, the Church continues to provide necessary care to those in need, to those who are laying down their lives for their neighbors, and to all the innocents who are suffering wrongly from Russian aggression. While providing material goods, the Church also continues to pray fervently for the safety of the civilians and defenders, and a speedy cessation of the hostility, allowing the people of Ukraine to live in peace and prosperity.