In November, Kherson was liberated from Russian forces. Celebrations took place in the city center, but it wasn’t long before Russia started to attack the city with missiles from across the Dnipro River.
The terrifying sound sends people and animals running for cover.
Tom Hughes, Field Operations Manager for Siobhan’s Trust, is traveling across Ukraine with a team of volunteers to feed people in liberated villages and boost morale with pizza parties.
The Scottish charity serves thousands of pizzas a day to hungry displaced Ukrainians with their six mobile kitchens. The Scottish men put on their kilts, even in the freezing temperatures, to bring a smile to the faces of adults and children. They turn up the music and drown out the sounds of war as they come together to share a meal and boost morale.
“From what children are left here, to have no joy, and neither do the adults, it’s a very hard existence. Our aim is to come in, put on music, cook pizza, and try and bring some joy. Say to the people, we are with you,” stated Tom.
While the parties are usually a time of joy and laughter, a party in Kherson ended abruptly due to a nearby missile attack. A Russian BM-21 “Grad” rocket launcher was shooting off missile after missile and it was a frightening situation to be in.
One of the displaced dogs in the area came running and dove into the truck. He took refuge under the pizza ovens as volunteers closed the doors to vacate the area.
“Working in Kherson last week, which was liberated 10 days earlier, and is now suffering massive revenge bombardment across the city. A Grad missile attack came in close, and this dog ran into my van and curled up under the pizza ovens. At the end of the day, he refused to leave, and due to the amount of incoming bombs I had no time to argue, so home he came,” shared Tom.
The team named the black and white dog “Grad” and showered him with love and food. A few days later, on the way to the next city Grad starting to panic. One of the volunteers let him outside on a leash thinking maybe be had to go to the bathroom. He bolted as soon as he was outside.
Tom said they haven’t seen Grad since but will continue to look for him and hope to see him again someday soon.
There are hundreds of thousands of homeless pets like Grad roaming the war-torn streets looking for food and shelter. The kindhearted volunteers make sure to feed Ukrainians and the homeless dogs in the area.
While there is no power or heat, Tom was able to get a signal and share with us the impact that the pizza parties are having on Ukrainians, especially the children. He said the kids can be “free again” and dance and play like kids should.
Siobhan’s Trust is going to continue to host pizza parties in liberated cities and we are going to help fund the delicious pizzas, with your help. GreaterGood’s CEO, Tim Kunin, visited Ukraine and witnessed the joy something as simple as a pizza party brings to Ukrainians and said, “We are very committed to Ukraine long-term and will distribute 300,000 hot pizzas over the winter months.”
Ukrainians have proven they are brave and resilient people, but they are facing a winter like no other.
As temperatures plummet below freezing, many homes are without power and heat as Russia attacks Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. Families are also struggling to find food for themselves and their pets.
Thanks to your support, GreaterGood along with Greater Good Charities is providing warm wool blankets (made in Ukraine), Winter Relief Kits filled with jackets, water, and food for 80 meals, and pet food to Ukrainians in need.
GreaterGood will provide food and aid to Ukraine for as long as it is needed. According to Martyna Maciejewska, Greater Good Charities Field Operations Coordinator, “Our focus is on the areas of the biggest need, particularly areas where little or no aid has reached.”
Let’s show Ukrainians we haven’t forgotten about them. Check out the video below to see how your donations are already helping the people and pets of Ukraine.Whizzco