Donations pour in for Western Mass News Cares for Ukraine supply drive

Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 1:12 PM EST|Updated: Mar. 9, 2022 at 10:22 PM EST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - Western Mass News Cares and so do our viewers. We collected donations on Wednesday for the people of Ukraine and you all really showed up.

A garage full of non-perishable food items, clothing blankets and more. A church full of volunteers sorting out thousands of boxes of donations.

As war rages on in Ukraine, Western Mass News wanted to do something to help those living there. On Wednesday, we teamed up with the Full Gospel Church in Westfield to hold a donation drive.

“We’re all shocked. We have no words, we are speechless. We are very grateful for everybody who comes by and donates,” said Tanya Shvyryd.

We had two donation collection sites: one at the church in Westfield and one at our studios in Springfield.

The generosity of our western mass news viewers shined through the hundreds of donations we were able to accept..

“It’s the right thing to do. We had the stuff packed, we packed it yesterday, and we figured we’d just bring it over. If we find more stuff, we’ll bring over more,” said Raymond Hopfe of South Hadley.

Erin Chase is a paraprofessional at East Longeadow High School. She put an announcement out on Tuesday and asked for donations for our drive.

“This was yesterday, just yesterday…East Longmeadow school and the faculty and the students and our church, New Life Church. I’m speechless,” Chase added.

Within a matter of 24 hours, she was able to pack her van full of donations and bring it to our studios in Springfield.

“I saw this and I wanted to cry. The first thing this morning I walked in and said you have to be kidding me. It just kept getting bigger and then our kids in the autism room sorted everything today as a part of their vocation, so it was just an amazing experience,” Chase added.

Over at the church, volunteers helped collect donations that will be sent off to Poland and eventually given to those in the greatest need from Ukraine. One volunteer has special ties to the people, who fear for their lives.

“It’s hard. I call them whenever I can. We have prayers here every night. It’s difficult and tiresome. Even if I’m busy, I try to help as much as I can because I do have people I care about over there,” that volunteer explained.

As we collected some of these items, we realize we take them for granted sometimes - a box of ramen or a warm winter quilt - but one volunteer shed light on why those bare necessity donations are the most important.

“The ones, especially the refugees that are fleeing, they come with nothing, even if it’s the families that are hosting them, to get this aid, it helps them provide food on the table,” Shvyryd said.

If you would to make a monetary donation to the efforts for Ukraine, you can do so to any of the following organizations:

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