Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church, 8410 W. 131st St., Palos Park, sold out of pierogies almost immediately during a bake sale on March 3 with proceeds going to benefit Ukrainian refugees. (Supplied photo)
Kiwanis, Lions, Sertoma join Ukrainian relief effort
By Kelly White
People have been coming from all over the southwest suburbs to show their support.
Area Palos Kiwanis, Lions, and Sertoma service clubs, and countless community members, are working together to help out Ukrainian refugees through a humanitarian aid collection drive.
“This is such a tragedy,” Palos Hills Alderman Mike Lebarre (3rd) and Hills Kiwanis member, said. “We want to be able to help in any way we can. We live in a wonderful community and the community really comes together to help others in need.”
The collection drive kicked off on March 2 and will run until Thursday, March 10. Donations can be dropped off at Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church, 8410 W. 131st St., Palos Park, and the Palos Hills Community Center, 8455 W. 103rd St., Palos Hills.
Everything collected will be shipped by air to Poland, which has taken in thousands of Ukrainian civilians displaced by the attack on their country.
Requested items include: medical supplies, personal hygiene products, diapers, band aids, ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen, NyQuil, DayQuil, Neosporin, lidocaine, gauze bandages, cleansing wipes, PPE gloves, masks, eye protection, refillable water bottles, backpacks, flashlights, antibiotic ointments, thermal underwear, sleeping bags, and duct tape.
Financial donations are also encouraged. Checks can be made out to Saints Peter and Paul UOC Memo: Ukraine.
“Every donation can make a difference,” Lebarre said.
Assisting in the relief effort was Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Church on March 3 with a bake sale that also featured pierogies, stuffed cabbages and homemade breads.
The sale, which began promptly at 11 in the morning, sold out of pierogies almost immediately upon opening its doors to the public, according to church officials.
“It makes you really have an appreciation for people’s generosity and kindness,” Janet Milton, a longtime member of Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church, said. People of all different ethnicities have been coming for here today with support for the plight of the Ukrainians.”
Even with the pierogies sold out, cars continued to line the streets on Thursday just so people driving by could make a monetary donation towards the cause. One Ukrainian soldier, who had come to the United States just three weeks ago, stopped in to visit and pray with the church’s priest, Father Vasyl Sendeha.
Sendeha said he was brought to tears several times throughout the day at how the people kept coming in with their donations, their stories, and offering their prayers.
“Today was meant to be just our regular monthly pierogi sale,” Sendeha said. “I am overwhelmed with gratitude and at the outpouring of people coming to give aid to support Ukraine. Your prayers are always needed, and the community is always welcomed to pray with our parish.”
Lillian Cepynsky, a generational member of Saints Peter and Paul, spoke of her heartbreak for her many relatives who still live in Ukraine, including her 93-year-old sister. Cepynsky was reminded of how she and her loved-ones were World War II survivors.
“At age 5 years old, my family and I were collected and displaced a few times during the war,” Cepynsky said.
When asked how the current crisis relates to her World War II memories, Cepynsky said that it relates very much.
“It reflects what we went through,” she said.
T-shirts are being made from WorldWide Shirts, with half of the money for every T-shirt sold going to Saints Peter and Paul toward their relief efforts. To purchase a T-shirt, go online to https://worldwide-shirts.com/search?q=ukraine or visit www.worldwide-shirts.com and search: Ukraine, order and pay.
Continuing the spirit of giving, Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church, 8530 W. 131st St., Palos Park, will be hosting a bake sale on Saturday, March 4, and Sunday, March 5, in support of Ukraine and Ukrainian troops.
The sale will take place in the church hall from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. both weekend days.
Some of the featured food will include: cheese crepes, potato pancakes, cabbage rolls, Ukrainian borsch, pastries, and pierogies.
All sales from the bake sale will go directly to benefit the Ukrainian relief efforts.
“It’s wonderful how everyone is pulling together,” Palos Hills Alderman Donna O’Connell (5th), said. “We’re praying for the best.”
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