Boyertown's Ukrainian "Sister City" Expresses Appreciation As They Fight To Survive


[Editor's Note-- While Congress continues to engage in political power struggles, they are withholding desperately needed aid to Ukraine.  After two years, Ukrainians are continuing to fight as best they can for their lives and for their freedom. 

The Ukrainians are enduring the worst of human suffering, but as we go about our daily lives here, it is easy to forget that these are real people, people like us, people who need what we need, people who feel anguish like we feel anguish. 

Below, Linda Weinberger shares the most recent update from Boyertown's "Sister City" in Ukraine-- Bohodukhiv. Perhaps after reading it, Expression readers  might consider a call or an email to their senators and/or congressional representatives.]

by Linda Weinberger

Good morning, STARFISH of Bohodukhiv, UKR. Well, it's been two long years of war in UKR. Other than the fights over funding in the US Congress we don't hear much about the day-to-day effect of the war on everyday citizens like us. But throughout these two years you have been the "starfish" for the children, parents, disabled, and hungry soldiers. 

The starfish story goes like this: A gentle man was walking along a beach strewn with starfish. A young boy was picking them up one by one, and tossing them back into the sea. "Young man," said the older man, "there are so many. You can't ever save them all." 

And the boy replied, "Well, it matters to this one. . ." and he continued to help them, one by one. 

You're STARFISH!! The children, men, women, parents, soldiers, oldsters, disabled. . .they know that we care. One by one they've received caring, kindness, small gifts, cards, chocolates. They know you care! 

So as we mark this two year "sad-iversary" I want to share some starfish stories and photos.

The father of one of Vita's students died in the war last April. His daughter kept in touch with his squad and asked the school authority to support these soldiers on the front line. The teachers, children, and parents responded with donations of warm clothing, food, and supplies. Vita gave t-shirts and hoodies donated by Boyertown's Jim Tribbett as well as some of the letters and notes you all sent last Spring. As you may recall we sent 800, and they have been widely distributed. 

Boyertown's Jim Tribbett and his daughter who lives in California sent two boxes of crocheted items which Vita distributed to children and adults. They certainly put smiles on faces!! Jim also sent seven boxes of sweatshirts and t-shirts that were donated by Boyertown businesses. It seems like half of Bohodukhiv is now wearing "PRECISION" hoodies! 

Vita distributed funds to families in need. One took a photo of the turkey they bought for Christmas.

And we continued to support the "kitchen ladies" who make nutritious food for local soldiers who patrol the area and are also on the front lines. 

Vita sent a heartfelt video from some of the kitchen ladies, and unfortunately I can't seem to upload it on this email. But I will be happy to send it to you individually if you let me know that you'd like to receive it. The women speak in Ukrainian, yet the language barrier dissolves with the passion and body language we can easily read and understand from their hearts to ours.

Vita herself has been on sick leave for the past 3 months, recovering from cancer surgery which we managed to finance. Imagine any one of us knowing we had cancer and no way to pay for the life-saving surgery needed. Her gratitude knows no bounds. She will "return" to school on February 20, although school is still virtual and interrupted by continual air raids.

Vita also reports that Bohodukhiv was hit on Sunday, February 18 at midnight by a missile and it destroyed an auto repair station very close to her house. She said that even the photos fell from the shelves in her home and they were all terrified. 

Vita sent photos of "Glory Alley" in the center of town where flags fly with the photos of the local soldiers slain. Seeing the faces makes it so real and so senseless. Fathers, sons, boyfriends. 

And so, my starfish friends, please know that what you do matters. I have asked Vita how we can continue to show our support and caring to the people in this one small town near the Russian border. I await her guidance. 

In the meantime, I think phone calls to your Congressional representative in Washington to urge passage of the $95 billion bill which includes $60 billion in funding for Ukraine would be in order. These phone calls take less than a minute, are usually answered by an aide, noted, and the tally of calls handed to the representative daily. Phone calls matter. 

And prayers. Prayers matter. 

Thank you for your kindness, your prayers, your phone calls, and your caring!!  

With love. . .Linda  Click here for information about contacting U.S. Senators.

Click here for information about contacting US Senators.

For List of United States representatives from Pennsylvania, click here.  

You can also go to this site, on the right of the page... "contact your member."

You can read some of The Expression's previous articles about the struggles of Boyertown's "Sister City," Bohodukhiv by using the links below.

Local Resident Launches Relief Efforts To Aid Ukrainian Sister Cities "Family"  

Update: Generosity of Boyertown Area Brings Smiles to Sister City, Bohodukhiv 

New Project Launched To Lighten Ukrainian Spirits    

Summer Brings No Relief for Boyertown's Sister City, Bohodukhiv

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