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Salvation Army mobilizing to bring supplies to Ukrainians

We checked in with the Salvation Army in Massachusetts and learned that they already have boots on the ground in a large number of eastern European countries.
Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 8:23 PM EST
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WESTFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Western Mass News is getting answers from disaster relief officials about how they are currently assisting in Ukraine, and whether we can expect Ukrainian refugees arriving in our area in the near future.

We checked in with the Salvation Army in Massachusetts and learned that they already have boots on the ground in a large number of eastern European countries, and that number is growing by the day.

“Oftentimes, it’s just, how do we get these people to safety and give them those basic needs and then start to piece together, so it’ll be multiple steps,” Chris Farrand, Regional Disaster Services Director for the Salvation Army.

Farrand spoke to Western Mass News as his organization is in eastern Europe helping people in Ukraine as Russia attacks. He shared photos with us taken in the past week as they work to provide short and long term services and goods.

“A key part is also the emotional and spiritual care,” Farrand told us. “It’s hard to fathom what it would be like, that these people are dealing with.”

He said that locations in nine or ten neighboring countries, part of the Salvation Army’s global network, have helped them to mobilize quickly.

“Loading up and basically, whatever they have, whatever they can get, and going to bring it to the people that are in need,” Farrand said.

We also brought our questions to him about if we can expect refugees arriving in western Massachusetts in the near future. Farrand said that the focus right now remains with getting them to safety. He will be prepared if the time comes here in Massachusetts.

“We already have food that’s staged, we have clothing, we have hygiene kits,” Farrand told us.

After western Massachusetts welcomed scores of refugees from Afghanistan, Farrand shared with us what people can keep in mind right now.

“I think people being open to that opportunity, considering what they could support for the longer-term, that’s very, very valuable,” he said.

For more information on how you can donate to the Salvation Army, you can donate here, or mail a check to:

Salvation Army World Service Office

International Relief Fund

P.O. Box 418558

Boston, MA 02241-8558