Razom continues delivering CheerUp packages to the Ukrainian community of New York as a part of our Emergency Response to the pandemic. “The purpose of ‘CheerUp Packages’ is to show that we are here, that we support each other as a community,” says Mariya Soroka.
New York City is living through some strange and difficult times, but we have some good news to share. Last Friday, we successfully delivered our second wave of smiles to Ukrainians of the East Village. This time we teamed up with the UNWLA – Ukrainian National Women’s League of America, Inc. (Союз Українок Америки) and with the help of Stefa Cherczenko hand-delivered 20 CheerUp meals from Veselka :: Beceлкa and Streecha. We are grateful to our volunteers Mariya Soroka and Tamara Lashchyk for their time and kind hearts.
It was amazing to see all the beautiful smiles of our Ukrainian community and to hear some personal stories as we took care to practice safe distancing and personal protection. We want to personally thank Iryna Kurowyckyj for working with us on this project. We missed gathering on East 7th Street this year for the 44th Annual festival so we re-created a tiny bit of that magic through these short visits.
(Check out our Virtual Razom Lounge, too)
Thanks to our generous donors who stepped up, we have enough money from the fundraiser for a third CheerUp wave. This one will have to wait until the curfews are over. Glad to let you know that Ukrainian small businesses such as Veselka, Streecha, and Baczynsky are standing strong and were not touched by looters.
We respect and support peaceful protesters all around New York and throughout this great country which has always given space for the Ukrainian community to organize and advocate for our causes. Peaceful protest and assembly are hallmarks of a vibrant democracy. Today we continue to stand for human rights, keenly aware of the unique struggle experienced by marginalized and minority communities and with the sober recognition that equality of opportunity is not yet a reality.
We will overcome these hard times in a spirit of reconciliation, trying to listen, as we continue to stamp out injustices in our imperfect but ever-evolving system. It is the American way. Razom stands with our country as it continues on the road to healing.
Read more about the Razom CheerUp packages in the UkrInform article in Ukrainian and watch the VOA video here.
Photos by Bogdan Grytsiv