Do you ever stop and think about just how resilient the people of Ukraine are? Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 and while we've celebrated holidays, milestone events, and vacations, Ukrainians have faced the unknown each and every day.

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Most of us are blessed to say that we have never lived in a war zone and our hearts ache for the residents of Ukraine And, for those who have lived through war, their hearts bleed for their fellow humans.

In an attempt to make the Christmas season a little bit brighter for Ukrainians living through things we can only imagine, Sacred Heart Ukrainian Catholic Church of Johnson City, St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church of Elmira Heights, and Ascension Ukrainian Catholic Church of Sayre, PA are collecting items to fill a shipping container to send to Ukraine just in time for Christmas.

The humanitarian mission of the churches will directly support orphaned children and children internally displaced in Ukraine as well as the hospitals treating war victims.

The shipping container is being filled with the following items:

NEW children's clothing: winter coats, hats, gloves, socks, underwear, long underwear, thermal shirts and pants, pajamas, fleece jackets, and sweaters for children up to age 18. Also needed are dried foods such as oatmeal, rice, ramen, cereals, nuts, dried fruits, tea, coffee, chocolate, nutrition bars, and drinks like ensure, and baby food.

NEW blankets, fleece, towels, and pillows are appreciated as are personal hygiene items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, conditioner, hand towels, shaving cream, and razors.

The churches are also hoping to get diapers for both children and adults and, medical supplies such as crutches, walkers, braces, ace wraps, antibiotic creams, gauzes, wound care products, and cold and flu medicine.

No toys or books will be accepted, but if you would like to donate any of the other items listed above, donations need to be delivered to any of the three churches immediately as the container will be shipped out in only a few days so that it arrives in Ukraine by Christmas.

If you have any items you would like to donate, you can call the church closest to you to learn how to donate them this week by reaching out to your nearest church.

For Sacred Heart Ukrainian Catholic Church in Johnson City, call the rectory at 607-797-6293 or the hall at 607-797-6294. For St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in Elmira Heights, call the rectory at 607-734-1221 or the annex at 607-734-2232. For Ascension Ukrainian Catholic Church in Sayre, PA, call the rectory at 570 888-1060.

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