Wednesday, March 9, 2022

We Stand With Ukraine

Eliot and I are still getting back into the swing of daily life, but I wanted to take a little pause from my usual routine on here to write about something that's important.  

Two weeks ago, Russia starting attacking Ukraine on February 23rd- the night before Eliot and I were flying out to California.  We usually watch A Million Little Things on Wednesday nights, but since this was the first episode back from the winter hiatus, I had decided to wait to watch it until we were back from our trip.  We completely missed the breaking news that would have interrupted the show anyways.  Instead, Eliot and I were blissfuly unaware- listening to music, finishing orders and packing all that night since we'd lost time due to pushing our trip forward by a day due to the storm. 

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It wasn't until we were sitting on the airplane in Boston that I even realized that Ukraine and Russia were at war.  Tons of people on our Delta flight had their television screens on CNN.  Eliot and I both shared a look, realizing what must have happened while we were otherwise preoccupied with our own lives.  Neither of us had headphones that would fit in the jack to hear what they were saying, but we both changed our station to CNN and I intently watched the headlines flashing across the screen.

Since then, we've only heard bits and pieces.  We were away on a pretty jam-packed trip with his family and I haven't been watching the news.  I have been on social media, but my time there has been limited; I've only seen things here and there.  What I have seen has horrified me- people fleeing their country and everything that they have ever known, people hiding in subway stations used as bomb shelters.  It's horrific.

I've had a heavy heart the past two weeks.  While we've been playing at one of the most magical places in the world, the people of Ukraine are being attacked.  Families are being separated.  People are dying.  It's horrendous, and it's not supposed to be happening in 2022.  I thought we were past all of this.  I thought the world was better than this.  For goodness sakes... the 2022 Winter Olympics finished mere days before this all began.  We were supposed to be promoting peace.  It makes me so angry.

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I don't profess to know much about what's currently going on overseas, but I do hope to become more educated about it in the coming days.  I feel so helpless about the entire situation, but there are things we can do to help and I've been trying to find ways we can help the people of Ukraine.  Here are a few things that I've found so far: 

World Central Kitchen has been feeding people fleeing the country.  

United Help Ukraine is an organization I found through CNN and they've been helping with medical supplies, humanitarian aid, wounded warriors and raising awareness.  

Thousands of people have been booking Airbnb locations in Ukraine with no intention of going- only to put money directly into the hands of the hosts who need immediate support.  (I don't recommend this unless you're 100% positive that you're helping a host.  People have started scamming others with this, and it's shameful.)

My Mom called me the other day and asked me to purchase a Ukraine flag from a local company here in Maine called 1901 Maine Flag.  They were featured on the local news for making Ukrainian flags and sending the profit made from them to the World Central Kitchen.  Mom and Dad now have two 3'x5' Ukraine flags getting shipped to them- one for them to hang on their fence and one for Eliot and me to hang.  (Mom wanted to buy the largest size but it was probably too big to hang anywhere... instead I bought two so more money would be sent to feed people.)  It's not a huge thing to do, but it feels really good to help.  I'm still looking for more ways that Eliot and I can do something.

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I don't know what is going to happen or how long this is going to go on, but I hope that Russia gets the message loud and clear- the world is not ok with their attack and is standing beside Ukraine and supporting them.  In the meantime, I'm praying that this all deescalates quickly and that this doesn't become World War III.

Thank you for allowing me the space to write this post.  Tomorrow, it will be back to my usual magical and cheerful posts, but I really thought this needed to be said first.

Stay strong Ukraine.  We are standing with you.  💙💛

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