Shamokin, Northumberland County (WBRE/WYOU)-The brutal war in Ukraine is entering its sixth month. A local priest is helping to collect funds and raise awareness for the victims on the front lines.
Reverend Mykola Ivanov said he will continue to collect and send relief supplies to Ukrainian refugees and orphanages no matter how long it takes.
“You see, every little thing helps,” said Reverend Ivanov.
Firefighters respond to the Lee Park Little League fire
Since March, Reverend Ivanov, a former priest of the Transfiguration of Our Lord Ukrainian Catholic Church in Shamokin, has been working tirelessly to help Ukraine.
After receiving a donation in April, he stepped up his efforts and traveled to Poland to deliver relief supplies to orphanages in Ukraine.
“We sponsored these Polish volunteers and it was very successful. We brought many things for them to help Ukrainian refugees,” Rev. Ivanov explained.
He also donated a van with wheelchair capability for the safe transportation of children. He is now working to donate medical equipment to orphanages with children with special needs.
“Special mattresses, special wheelchairs, special beds that you can recline to be comfortable,” Rev. Ivanov said.
Since the spring, his community has sent bulletproof vests, first-aid kits, and more donations than he expected.
“Together with Vinny Closey, the former Northumberland County Commissioner, we raised a total of about $140,000,” Rev Ivanov told Eyewitness News.
Rev. Ivanov says it’s worth seeing the faces of the children he helps.
Father Ivanov concluded: “I believe you will never forget the eyes of the children you help.”
Reverend Ivanov recently moved into a church in Warrington, Bucks County and will continue his efforts in his new community.
For more information about St. Anne’s Ukrainian Catholic Church and how to donate to Ukrainian refugees, visit their website.