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Western Massachusetts Ukrainians trying to send aid, but face challenges

The Bethesda Ukrainian Pentecostal Church in West Springfield, Massachusetts, on Feb. 28, 2022. A sign out front asks people to pray for Ukraine, as the invasion by Russia continues.
Alden Bourne
/
NEPM
The Bethesda Ukrainian Pentecostal Church in West Springfield, Massachusetts, on Feb. 28, 2022. A sign out front asks people to pray for Ukraine, as the invasion by Russia continues.

A Ukrainian church in western Massachusetts has been trying to help people in Ukraine, but it hasn't been easy.

Reverend Peter Mosijchuk said the congregation of the Bethesda Ukrainian Pentecostal Church in West Springfield has been been praying for people in the Eastern European country. He said they've also been sending money, which can be hard to get out of banks in Ukraine right now.

Mosijchuk said his church has been reloading a debit card belonging to a minister he knows who lives close to Kyiv.

"So he can buy some food," Mosijchuk said. "They can buy food and they can distribute to the people because that's probably the biggest crisis right now is food. Food and medical supplies."

Mosijchuk said his church also partnered with a church in New York to send two containers of food and medical supplies by boat, but they're delayed because of the conflict.

"They [are] not even in the Black Sea," he said. "They [are] on the way there but they [are] looking for [a] country that we can put those containers and get [them] to maybe Germany or Poland."

Andriy Krip, the priest at Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in Ludlow, said he's also been collecting donations of money.

"We are going to transfer it to our diocese, which will transfer it to Ukraine for people who suffered from the war, for families who suffered from it," he said.

Before joining New England Public Media, Alden was a producer for the CBS NEWS program 60 Minutes. In that role, he covered topics ranging from art, music and medicine to business, education, and politics. Working with correspondent Morley Safer, he reported from locations across the United States as well as from India, Costa Rica, Italy, and Iraq.
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