September 21, 2016
New York City: Second Container of Humanitarian Aid sent to Ukraine

On Tuesday, September 12, the feast day of Holy Right-Believing Great Prince Alexander Nevsky, a second 40-foot container of humanitarian aid collected by parishioners and organizations of the Russian Church Abroad was sent to the suffering populace of the Donbass. From the beginning of the conflict, parishioners and benevolent organizations have striven to provide aid to the victims of the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in the Donbass.

A first 40-foot container of humanitarian aid for the needy of Donetsk and Lugansk was sent to Ukraine at the end of April 2015. This aid was delivered to places where aid from Russia often cannot reach due to military action. After some delay, the container arrived in July 2015, and aid distributed to the needy through local churches, mainly in the worst-hit regions at the front of conflict.

This May, enough goods were collected for a second container, including wheelchairs, crutches, and walkers provided by Otrada, Inc., by whose efforts over half of the container was filled; also collected were medical coats and surgical masks, a great deal of quality clothing, footwear and household goods. With the blessing of His Eminence Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, the container was to have been sent from St. Seraphim parish in Sea Cliff, NY to St. Alexander Nevsky Lavra in St. Petersburg, and from there to Donetsk and Lugansk. However, new, strict customs regulations in Russia, according to which all items must to be listed in detail and packaged according to complex categorizations, plans changed. The supplies were repackaged and stored at Aero Deluxe Shipping, Inc., and ultimately sent the same way as the first time, to the care of the Synodal Department of Humanitarian Matters of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Attending the sendoff of the second container from Aero Deluxe Shipping in Brooklyn, NY were the company’s owner, Pavel Kalinovsky; Archpriest Serafim Gan (Chancellor of the Synod of Bishops; rector of St. Seraphim Memorial Church in Sea Cliff); Nikita Tregubov, President of Otrada, and his wife; George Selinsky of St. George Pathfinders of America.

Fr. Serafim expressed heartfelt thanks to Mr. Kalinovsky for his generosity and efforts, thanks to which the project was made possible, and gave him a hand-painted icon of Venerable Seraphim of Sarov. Kalinovsky in turn thanked everyone in attendance for their work, which had revealed the spirit of the Russian Diaspora, which never abandoned its roots. He also noted that there were many descendants of the Russian nobility who do not simply express their concern on paper but, true to their ideals, join the Church in trying to help their compatriots in need.

The Congress of Russian Americans and young SGPA scouts were also thanked for sorting and packing the goods collected by Otrada, and the exercise noted as a lesson in helping one’s neighbor in need.

Fr. Serafim noted in conclusion the significance of the container being shipped on the feast day of the Holy Right-Believing Great Prince Alexander, Defender of Rus’ and of our Faith, "which instills in our hearts faith that our saints and the Lord Himself are with us, blessing this good work and guaranteeing its success."

Official Website of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia