April 5, 2022 by By Cathy Stack
Women and children represent the vast majority of the more than 1.5 million refugees leaving Ukraine, because the government required men younger than 60 to remain and fight in the war.
Polish women witnessed the heartbreaking scenes of desperate families fleeing their homes and wanted to help. The donation of strollers and other necessities has helped ease the transition for many families. Donators have also left heartwarming, handwritten notes to show their solidarity and support.
“We see on the television and hear on the radio what happened, and we say, okay we can help,” said one Polish mother, describing her own motivation to volunteer.
The women who organized the donation knew firsthand the comfort a stroller would bring to a weary mother and child. A stroller offers a sense of normalcy and security, and it allows both mother and child an opportunity to rest and regain strength.
The stroller drive idea first spread from simple word of mouth between neighbors. The idea soon went viral on social media and evolved into a kindness movement. Donators offered strollers of all shapes and sizes; some empty and some filled with essentials for infants, such as diapers, baby food and clothing.
Most of the Ukrainian mothers arrived in Poland with nothing but the clothes on their back. They held their tired children in their arms because the overcrowded trains did not have enough room for large items like strollers. Some women had to escape quickly, leaving no time for preparation for their perilous border-crossing journey. Many arrived alone, not knowing anyone in Poland.
“It was my first time traveling without my husband,” said Paulina, a 19-year-old Ukrainian mother who arrived at the Poland station with her 4-month-old baby girl. “It was very difficult and heavy,” she recalled of the physical strain of having to carry her child in her arms the entire time during the long train journey.
Many Ukrainian refugees boarded trains in haste, unaware of their final destination. Many mothers suddenly faced a solo mission of keeping their children safe and sheltered from the realities of war. They had to rely on the kindness of strangers, which they have found in abundance within the Polish station.
The mothers’ stroller idea inspired an outpouring of supply and fund donations for Ukrainian refugees from all over the world. Donors and volunteers flocked to the Przemyśl Główny train station near the border crossing, which has since been transformed into a relief effort center. The station’s waiting room has been converted to a warehouse to store donations. Volunteers work around the clock offering phones with prepaid plans, housing accommodations and legal advice for the incoming flux of confused, weary and worried refugees.
PassItOn and The Foundation For a Better Life believe that the kindhearted Polish mothers are heroes for their compassionate gesture to the incoming refugees. Their action has displayed to the world a beautiful example of the value of kindness. Their act of humanity has created a kindness movement that will ease the suffering for so many.
Watch video Here: https://youtu.be/IUZ57us7wg8
photo credit: Facebook
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