Firefly Charity, Ukraine

Firefly Charity

Firefly Charity Ukraine has been assisting the needy in Ukraine for the past 18 years. Helping centers for abandoned children, homes for mothers and babies in crisis, underprivileged families, refugees from the previous war in Eastern Ukraine which had been going on since 2014, and much more.

Due to the February Russian invasion of Ukraine, our team evacuated to nearby Croatia and Poland, but continue to remain in direct almost daily contact with many of those same situations and projects still operating in Ukraine, helping them by raising funds and finding ways to get supplies to them.

Since the war began on February 24, some of the projects Firefly has been involved in are:

  • Working to help evacuate a center for abandoned children in a city south of Kyiv. This center has 51 children and had been evacuated out of the orphanage to another city because their city was being shelled. They spent a month living with the director and 2 caretakers in one room, spending the night in the basement when there were air-raids. Recently they moved back to their orphanage because their city was deemed safe again. Firefly had been trying to move the children to Poland but the local officials didn’t allow it for reasons which aren’t clear.

    At least now the children have beds and a shower. They get very little government support now, so Firefly has been raising funds and sending it to them so that the children can eat more than the watery soup and cereal they had been living on.

    With the help of dear friends in The Netherlands, psychiatric help is being provided for the staff and children, as well as some of the medicines they need.
  • At Christmas, Easter and other holidays, Firefly held programs for poor village families during which the families could list things they need—often big-ticket items—and working together with the teachers, parents, and children from a prestigious international school in Kyiv, these needs would be gotten. But now that the war started, these same families are more in need than ever.
  • Firefly has been sending money to a local government official who has been buying food, medicine, and other necessities, and preparing packages to deliver to many of these families each week.
  • Firefly has been able to get special formula and special food supplements to a little girl, Dasha, born with an intestinal disorder, who desperately needs them. Thanks again to the help of our friends in The Netherlands who order them on line and work out to have them shipped to her house. Here is a reaction from her mother:

    Hello, Dear Friends!

    We don’t go anywhere. We stay at home. Our little girl finds it difficult to go outside, and there is nowhere to go. When they bomb, we hide in the basement. I will not say that we are not afraid. It’s terrible! I really want this horrible dream to end soon and we can go back to a peaceful life. God is merciful!
Little Dasha
… in the underground bunker
  • Firefly has also been supporting refugees, who have had to leave everything behind to start over in a nearby country, and families who had fled to Kyiv from the earlier war in Eastern Ukraine only now find themselves again in the middle of conflict.

The need in Ukraine and among refugees is staggering, and the situation is not improving. But thanks to the kindness and generosity of many, Firefly and its partner organizations bring aid to those who need it most at this time. One such organization recently reported:

From Jan Tomasz Rogala

We went with two big buses and minibus to the little town Rubiezhne, right at the front lines. As we were approaching the town, we heard single explosions as well as a series of Grad rockets shelling the town. The columns of black smoke were rising in various places around us. We arrived at the city hall in the center and the big crowd of people run out of the building. Confusion, crying children, disabled people trying to get on the bus, Ukrainian soldiers rushing us to move faster, all this added to the atmosphere of panic and terror. We loaded almost 250 people and left as soon as we could. I tell you at this moment I was very moved and I couldn’t even pray but I had this overwhelming feeling of deep gratitude that others are interceding for us.

I have never been lucky in laser tag games, always getting hit myself much more than hitting opponents. Yesterday, I sure hoped this rule wouldn’t apply when our convoy of two large buses, a minibus, and a local police car were attacked by Russian mortars in the middle of Rubiezhne town. We were about to pick up another load of refugees. Thanks to the cool heads of the Ukrainian soldiers our huge buses hid behind a building where the second floor was ruined and burning. Seconds were never so long when sitting in the bus, or more exact kneeling on the bus floor, waiting while the driver desperately turned the monster of a bus around in the narrow street with mortars exploding within 20 meters of us, throwing dirt and stones against the windows.

We managed to escape Rubiezhne and pick up more refugees from a nearby town, but our knees were weak for many hours. Sorry, no pics of the time; it was too scary at the moment to even think about taking some. We got safely to the refugee center in Krematorsk. During this three-day trip to Donbas, we evacuated 340 people to our little refugee center.

Tomorrow we are going out again…

Remote Delivery

One of our previous students, Valentin, is Russian but now works in Japan and has relatives in Ukraine, in an area that was occupied by Russia near the Belarus border. They were in desperate need of heart and blood pressure medication, but all the pharmacies are closed.

Our good friend in The Netherlands once again asked her Ukrainian friend who is now a refugee in The Netherlands to order the medicine online and have it delivered to this remote village by bicycle because all the bridges in the area are blown up and it was the only way to get it there.

It arrived safely … $420 worth of medicine!

Bicycle deliveries

And then there are the Orphans …

We have been able to get money to the director of an orphanage with 51 children. She recently did a big grocery shopping and now the kids will be eating much better.

Thank you!
The orphans’ bomb shelter

 to help us help others by supporting our projects and programs in war torn Ukraine.
Contact us at:
Facebook: Firefly Charity Project Ukraine
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