Winter has arrived in Romania and Ukraine, bringing cold and snow to its people and our volunteers’ distributions.
Our staff and volunteer teams continue faithfully distributing food in Ukraine and branching out to other exciting opportunities they encounter. As always, we’re grateful for the opportunity to work alongside Fight for Freedom on these projects.
Here are some of the new developments of our work in Romania and Ukraine.
Previously, we were storing and processing food in an old warehouse in Romania in preparation for distributions into Ukraine. In November we moved into a new warehouse that provides a much better space to fulfill our needs.
“This has been a huge blessing for our work. Here we’ve been able to get an inventory system into place, a warmer place for volunteers to pack bags, and an office for the team to work at.”
In the summer of 2022, we were doing distributions twice a week and handing out approximately 40 tons of food per month. That number has now increased. Currently, we’re distributing food three times a week and processing 20 tons of food per week.
Our volunteers package the food into bags, load the trucks, and go to Ukraine to distribute the food.
We are blessed with local volunteers in Ukraine who help us at the distribution sites. Several of these are churches who serve tea and care deeply about those impacted by the war. We never leave a distribution empty handed; the Ukrainian grandmas make sure we always get some kind of fruit or sweets.
Fight For Freedom is currently housing 100 Ukrainian orphans and their caretakers in Fight for Freedom centers in Romania. In addition, 90 teens from high risk areas (along with caretakers) are temporarily staying in centers until their hometowns are safe enough for them to return.
Fight For Freedom is working with the Ukrainian authorities to bring more orphanages to Romania in the next few months. This may mean having a total of 485 children between the ages of 0-17 housed by FFF in the near future.
The i58 team has spent some time with the children: playing games and doing crafts. They love when we’re able to spend time with them, but we’ve been limited due to not having enough volunteers. In the Spring of 2023, several volunteers plan to come with the sole purpose of heading up projects and programs for these children.
The semi-truck line waiting to cross the border from Romania to Ukraine is typically busy but recently it’s gotten much longer. This is likely due to Ukrainian customs getting more strict in checking the trucks.
The line of trucks is close to 25 miles long–the longest that we’ve seen in our time here. Most of these trucks wait approximately one week before they can cross the border.
For Christmas, we decided to do a distribution for the truck drivers who’ve been stuck in this line. 500 plates were assembled: this included a homemade cookie, an orange, chocolate covered pretzels, candy, tea bags, and a Christmas note. We went from truck to truck handing out the plates.
“Some of the truck drivers refused the Christmas plates, thinking they had to pay for them. When we explained that it is a present for Christmas their faces lit up! This was a fun small thing that we could do for the truck drivers while they wait in line over the holidays!”