BALTIMORE, MD – As part of ongoing response to needs created by the devastating conflict in Ukraine, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is working with Orthodox parishes there to distribute thousands of food parcels to displaced families during the Orthodox Christian Holy Week.
Dubbed “Easter baskets,” the parcels contain a small Easter cake, eggs, sausage, cheese, and a bottle of sunflower oil— staples that not only provide essential nourishment but also, perhaps, offer hope amid tremendous loss. Through the parishes, some 2,800 parcels will reach families in need, including elderly persons, people with disabilities, and orphans.
“These are small things, ordinary items, but their importance in this context can’t be overstated,” said IOCC’s staffer on the ground in Ukraine. “People are receiving these baskets several days before Easter, during Holy Week, so that they can take them to Easter services this weekend for a blessing. The parcels represent the kind of practical help that IOCC strives to offer when our neighbors face tragedy.”
The Easter distribution is just one part of broad programming through which IOCC is addressing the pressing needs of people who have fled their homes seeking safety. Across the region, initiatives in Poland and Romania are serving both Ukrainian refugees and the families and organizations that are hosting them. Working with local partners, IOCC is providing emergency supplies such as food, water, bedding, and hygiene items, plus laptops to support remote education.
After rapidly meeting its initial fundraising goal of $1 million in private donations, IOCC continues fundraising with an eye toward long-term response and set a new goal of $3 million in private gifts. These generous donations are providing urgent aid as IOCC ramps up staffing and programming across the region. In addition, IOCC is expanding its regional operational presence to support both continued short-term response and longer-term assistance amid this humanitarian emergency.
Supporters and friends of IOCC are asked to continue praying for everyone affected by this emergency and for the people on the ground serving them—partners, volunteers, and IOCC’s own staff. Donate to IOCC’s Ukraine response fund online: www.iocc.org/ukraine22 or call 877-803-4622.
International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is the humanitarian relief and development agency of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States of America. Since its inception in 1992, IOCC has provided more than $771 million in humanitarian relief and sustainable development programs in over 60 countries worldwide. Today, IOCC applies its expertise in humanitarian response to natural and human-caused crises in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, offering assistance based solely on need. Learn more at iocc.org and follow us @IOCCRelief on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.