Loads of Love looking for help for Ukraine

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A family of Ukrainian refugees assisted by Loads of Love support.
A family of Ukrainian refugees assisted by Loads of Love support.

 

An area missionary stationed in Kiev is appealing to Chatham-Kent residents to help more than a million Ukrainian refugees displaced by the conflict with Russia.

Ed Dickson, who’s spent the last two decades in the eastern European nation and is working on behalf of Loads of Love, said he’s never seen the situation as bad as it is now.

“I never thought it would come to this,” he said of the border clash in which the United Nations estimated nearly 3,000 have died.

Open conflict began in the region six months ago after Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. Pro-Russian separatists then declared independence in the two eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

Dickson, speaking by phone from Kiev, said about 600,000 of the refugees have flooded into that city, while a like number took refuge in Russia. “These are people who have lived in peace for decades and all of the sudden bombs starting falling all around them. They headed whichever way they could.”

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Dickson said many refugees left with just the clothes on their back, and winter is approaching and there is a particular need for coats, boots, hats and blankets.

“We had a container come in and I’ve never seen it emptied so fast,” he said. “There is such a need.”

Chatham Loads of Love public relations director Ken Powell said an appeal has gone out to all Chatham-Kent churches asking them to help wherever they can.

“We’re trying to fill a shipping container to send to Ukraine,” he said. “We’re also trying to raise $10,000 to get the container there.”

Powell said the effort is a race against time and weather.

“Winter will be setting in within the next month, so our goal is to ship early in November.

He said volunteers are needed on Oct. 11, 18 and 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and during the last week of October between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to help sort and pack items for the shipping container.

Dickson, who grew up near Leamington, said his group is in “triage mode” assessing needs and helping those who need it most, first.

“We’re usually involved in helping orphans, particularly those with disabilities, and we’ve expanded our scope as much as possible,” he said. “Every bit makes a difference; you don’t have to be (as rich as) Bill Gates to help out.”

For more information or to volunteer, call Loads of Love at 519-352-0911, visit the group’s website http://loadsoflove.ca/ or e-mail loadsoflove@bellnet.ca.

 

 

1 COMMENT

  1. Ed Dickson and his family lived beside me last year. They were in Chatham for one year. Wonderful caring family!!I have known Ed for many years. He has committed his life to helping others. There has always been a great need in that part of the world. Now the need is even greater. I plan to volunteer. It takes my eyes off myself and teaches me to help others that have it way worse then me.

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