Polish community in Sheffield lead the way in donation collecting for Ukranians fleeing their homes.

by Eva Millett

The plight of Ukranian families fleeing their homes has struck a chord in the heart of Sheffield as a Polish convenience store have collected kilos worth of donations.

Clean clothes, non-perishable goods, nappies, sanitary products, baby formula, winter shoes, sleeping bags, pain relief and other essential goods have all been gathered by the community.

The cause originally started in Doncaster, but it resonated with Polish-born Basia Wright, aged 37, who lives in Sheffield.

Mrs Wright said: “I just thought, I can’t get involved politically, saying I agree doesn’t feel enough.

“I was actually eating dinner when I saw the post looking for help, and I thought, people are dying and starving and I’m just here eating my dinner. Why not join in?”

Dora Food Plus in Attercliffe was advertised as a collection point on Facebook on Saturday morning, and since then the reaction has been both overwhelming and emotional for Mrs Wright – as her family watch the crisis unfold in Poland.

Mrs Wright said: “One lady said I don’t have much but I said don’t worry it doesn’t have to be a pile, you know one toothpaste is enough for a little girl to have clean teeth.”

According to Mrs Wrigh,  one village in Teeside have all chipped in to rent a van to collect their abundance of donations.

On Thursday, the donations from Attercliffe will be driven from Sheffield to Doncaster, and then onto Warsaw in Poland, 1,300km from Doncaster, before going to the necessary charities in Poland.

Mrs Wright said: “We are showing that we can pull together, and I don’t want all the credit to be given to me because it’s to the credit of the ladies at the Convent of the Daughters of St Francis Bentley that started it.”

Mrs Wright, originally from Zory, Poland said: “I look at my lad and think what a privileged life we are living, all the electronics we have, and we can’t do anything about politics, we can’t do anything about anything really.

“It’s a massive worry about when I will see my family, because if not we will be in the same position as 2020 again, when there’s no flights or travel which will be absolutely devastating.”

Written by Lisa Bradley

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