News |Fundraising

6th November 2023

Mike Wright to drive to Ukraine to deliver Christmas presents to children

Group of six business contacts and friends will be making the return trip of around 3,250 miles from Manchester.

As an investigator, I am no stranger to interesting phone calls with insolvency lawyers. However, I can safely say that Chris Keane (of Clarke Willmott) is the first to ask me to drive to a warzone to deliver Christmas presents.

I said yes, of course.

On 26th November 2023, we are due to travel to Chernivtsi in Ukraine to deliver Christmas presents and humanitarian aid to children housed across three orphanages and more than 20 shelters.

Making the return trip of around 3,250 miles from Manchester alongside me and Chris Keane will be Keir Merrick (also of Clarke Willmott), Niall McCulloch (Enterprise Chambers), Mark Jeffries (Camel and Rotary Club of Wakefield Chantry) and Nicholas Ellis (Ellis & Co Accountants).

Working with the Charitable Organization of the Chernivtsi Diocese, we will attempt to improve the quality of the lives of:

  • Over 250 children across three orphanages in and around Chernivtsi.
  • Over 500 displaced children that are currently being housed in temporary shelters across 23 parishes in the Chernivtsi region that may have lost one or both of their parents as a result of the war.

Prof. Mariia Fedoriak and Fr. Liubomyr Ivanochko, the directors of the charity in Chernivtsi, inform us it is critical that any aid arrives prior to 1st December 2023. After this date, new customs regulations come into effect in Ukraine and the charity cannot afford to pay the legal fees required to process the necessary paperwork to ensure the aid can get through prior to Christmas.

We are hoping to raise £30,000 in support of this cause. If you are able to, please donate via our Just Giving page.

In addition to any Christmas presents we may choose to take with us, the following items are desperately needed:

  • School supplies to include stationery, notepads, art and drawing materials etc.
  • School backpacks.
  • Sports equipment to include balls, nets, tables tennis equipment etc.
  • Children’s games (including a special request for large Lego or Duplo blocks for children with learning disabilities).
  • Hygiene products to include nappies, sanitary products, shampoo, deodorant, body wash, shower gel, toothbrushes etc.
  • Winter coats.
  • 20 – 30 tents and associated camping equipment such as sleeping bags, sleeping mats/airbeds, lamps etc. so they can be used for summer camps to take the children away from the orphanages/shelters for a much-needed break.
  • An off-grid solar power system to be installed at the remote summer camp the charity has currently been gifted the use of.

We will be taking a week away from our ordinary routines to make the trip through France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania to reach Chernivtsi in the southwest of Ukraine, 25 miles from the border with Romania.

We currently have two vehicles in which to make the trip, but we would like to travel with three. If you are in a position to assist us by loaning a van (standard or Luton) for the trip, please get in touch.

In announcing the trip last week, Chris Keane said:

“As a father of two beautiful little girls, it really saddened me to read of the plight of the thousands of orphans and other children displaced by the war in Ukraine, especially with Christmas just around the corner.

“Whilst we are seeking cash donations to pay for the items listed on the Just Giving page, we would also really welcome the direct donation of some or all of the items. If you or your organisation can directly supply any of the items listed, we would be very grateful indeed.”

Any support really is appreciated by our group and by the charity in Ukraine.

If you are able to donate money, please do so via our Just Giving page.

If you can donate any of the items listed above, please contact me.

If you can support our efforts on social media, please use the hashtag #ChernivtsiChristmasAppeal.

Thank you.

chernivsti ukraine christmas appeal

Support the Children of Chernivsti, Ukraine

Please help us to bring some relief and joy to the disadvantaged children of Chernivsti, Ukraine.

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