Kiwanis world stands united for Ukraine

Donations from Europe Kiwanians and all over the globe keep coming in as the war rages on.

By Josef-Peter Schachermayr, 2021-22 Kiwanis International-Europe president

Serving the Children of the World at its best! The District of Austria lives the motto of Kiwanis, led by Gov. Gernot Unterfurtner and Gov. Elect Franz Nagelseder, by providing unbureaucratic and targeted support to the Ukrainian people.

With the generous support of many active Kiwanians, who have asked for donations in their network, goods with a total value of more than € 350.000 already have been transported to the Ukraine border area in several truckloads. Individual clubs have set activities themselves, which can be quantified with more than € 150.000. 

Numerous donations to the Kiwanis Charity Fund, made by generous Kiwanis members and private donors, have made countless purchases of urgently needed relief supplies possible. And, of course, there were tons of in-kind donations. Some large companies have shown their social commitment by simply packing more goods on the pallets during the purchases than the order totaled.

Probably the most emotional deal was made by our Gov. Gernot with AGRANA Stärke GmbH. Not only did the company donate 31 pallets of baby and toddler food free of charge, but the staff, including the sales manager, got personally involved and labeled every single package with instructions for use written in Ukrainian. That was over 15,000 cans!

Kiwanis friend Dietmar Freudenthaler, of the Kiwanis Club of Linz, handled the logistics and the organization of all transports free of charge through his forwarding company. Four of the five shipments were made to Romania and one to Slovakia. With the enthusiastic support of the clubs located there, the donations were sorted, repackaged, and delivered precisely where they were needed. These were official refugee camps, registration centers and aid facilities. In addition, despite the enormous risk, there were transports to Ukraine and, for lack of suitable contacts, also to the crisis centers in Moldova.

The range of donated goods is broad, as the refugees had to leave all their belongings behind or were completely destroyed by the brutal warfare of the Russian forces. The Austria District also has delivered hygiene items (such as shower gels, shampoos, toothbrushes and toothpaste, feminine hygiene items), baby and toddler food, mineral water, clothing, shelf-stable food, power banks, batteries, emergency generators, diapers, washing powder and detergents, blankets, bedding, towels, furniture (such as beds, chairs or tables) and much more.

As an interim report, the entire operation can be described as a resounding success, and since there is still no end to the war, it will continue indefinitely. 

Without the incredible support of the many helping hands and the social commitment of the supporting companies, Kiwanians in the Austria District would never have managed this.

We thank you very much for every contribution.

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