• Pantemeinolivs’ka, 76, Odesa, Ukraine, 65000

New Year, New Dignity Aid Update

Dear Friends, What a holiday season it has been! At 1am on New Year’s Day Odesa had its firework display: a haunting flood of red tracer bullets shooting up into the sky, searching for the invisible drones and missiles which threatened the civilian population below. I sat with a few friends and silently watched this deadly torrent of explosive capability…

Sep-Oct Update: Two Months of Passion and a Fundraising Drive

Sep-Oct Update: Two Months of Passion and a Fundraising Drive

Dear Friends, So much has happened since last we talked. On Sunday evening, while visiting some friends in Odesa, we found ourselves seated on a bathroom floor while drone after drone came whirring toward the city before being shot down with ear-splitting explosions. A few blocks from where we sheltered, a missile blasted into the street in front of the…

August Donor Update: When the Dawn is Still Dark

August Donor Update: When the Dawn is Still Dark

“Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.”        - Rabindranath Tagore, ‘Fireflies’  Dear Friends,  The homeland of Rabindranath Tagore lies thousands of miles from my current home in Ukraine, in the state of West Bengal, India. But by the strange threads which link all of humanity, I recently stumbled upon an excellent YouTube…

Donor Update, Wks. 16-18: A Song of Spring

“Wrong will be right, when Aslan comes in sight, … And when he shakes his mane, we shall have spring again.”       - C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Dear Friends, A few opening comments. First, it is actually true that Oxford professor C.S. Lewis did not use the Oxford comma in the title of his hit novel quoted…

Donor Update, Wks. 13-15: A Wizard is Never Late…

“…nor is he early — he arrives precisely when he means to.”       - J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring My dear donors and friends, I occasionally comfort myself with those words spoken by Gandalf at the beginning of Tolkien’s classic. And as the weeks slowly slipped by since my last update, they came to mind frequently. Being in Moldova, I…

Donor Update, Wk. 12: Visa Acquired!

Sent 24 February 2023 – Dear friends and donors, A short update today, as I have been in Moldova all week working on a visa as well as drafting a longer reflection on my experiences so far, which I will send next week. A few pieces of good news: our 501(c)(3) non-profit paperwork has been filed in Virginia and is…

Donor Update, Wk. 10-11: The Sky’s the Limit

Sent 15 February 2023 – Dear donors and friends, Yesterday was simply breathtaking. Over the course of three months, with the help of countless individuals, with constant effort, and by the grace of providence, we marked the opening of a humanitarian distribution point in Kherson Oblast by distributing aid to more than 550 individuals in one day. On a Tuesday…

Donor Update, Wk. 9: A Bit of Earth, To Make it Grow

Sent 2 February 2023 Dear donors and friends, It was, quite simply, a week of miracles. Last week I wrote with some trepidation about an upcoming journey to Muzykivka, in Kherson Oblast. I stayed in that village for two nights and was absolutely floored by the generosity of my hosts, as well as the series of fortunate events which flowed…

Donor Update, Wk. 8: Into the Fire We Go

Sent 22 Jan 2023 Dear donors and friends, The subject line is taken of course from the great ballad “Into the Fire,” from the musical ‘Scarlet Pimpernel’, sung by pampered British aristocrats before they cross the Channel for their humanitarian mission in Revolutionary France. And before any of you worry, I am not joining the army or heading to the…

Donor Update, Wk. 7: Dialogues

Sent 17 Jan 2023 Dear donors and friends, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”  – Plato, ca. 400 BCE ‘Dialogues’ is the name given to the consolidated body of Plato’s work. It is thus called because Plato wrote almost all of his work in the form of conversations between various characters. In his mind, it…