Nathalie and Jacek here from Travelling Basket Lifestyle Store, Edinburgh gearing up for round two on our humanitarian aid convoy.
I know we all will have been shocked and shaken by the events in Ukraine and the military escalation that has forced millions of civilians to make the awful decision to flee or fight, something no one should ever have to confront.
As many of you know at Travelling Basket we work directly with artisans across Europe and have family and friends across Poland and other EU countries. As it will for many of you, this feels very close to home and a very real attack on our democracies, liberties, homes and places of work.
So Who Are We:
We are a group of ordinary people who felt compelled to do something to support the people of Ukraine and Poland.
We have direct experience of getting aid directly to the people in need as some of us sent the first aid convoy into Kosovo in 1999 and our team drove our 6 vehicle convoy to Ukraine in March of 2022.
So What Are We Doing?
We plan to have this next convoy of aid leave Scotland with winter supplies for Ukraine in January (watch our socials for up to date posts on this convoy) heading to Poland and then crossing into Ukraine.
We are fundraising in order to purchase food, medical supplies and winter clothing. We will be purchasing everything in Poland using our industry contacts. This means we are buying business to business and are able to get wholesale prices for most of what we buy, ultimately making the money we raise go much further.
The vehicles we will be driving out have been donated here in Scotland and are all off road vehicles going to help where most needed in Ukraine. These will be loaded with our humanitarian aid in Poland before heading into Ukraine and being unloaded at centres before being dispatched.
TOGETHER WE HAVE ALREADY ACCOMPLISHED THE FOLLOWING:
1. Working with friends and local businesses, we drove a convoy of 4 vans and 2 trucks in March from Scotland to Ukraine carrying humanitarian aid, food and medical supplies donated by you all; you can still catch the saved stories documenting our convoy over on our Instagram.
2. Over £35,000 was raised through February and March to support groups on the ground by purchasing and delivering food and medical supplies. These food drops were delivered by us directly to crisis centres, schools, hostels and community centres set up across Poland for Ukrainian refugees and to Charities working on the border and in Ukraine. Watch the updates on our Instagram.
3. Since returning, we have continued to work with our partners to deliver industrial generators to centres and hospitals to provide much-needed power. Photographs on our Instagram stories.
NOW WE WILL FOCUS ON ROUND TWO:
5. We're fundraising an additional £5,000 for the second round of humanitarian aid focusing on food, medical supplies, power banks, generators and winter gear... if we can raise more, we will but let’s start there!
We have been overwhelmed by your continued support, messages and donations and have decided to continue our humanitarian work with round two. This time we’ll focus our efforts on food and medical supplies going directly across the border. We’ll be working business to business, sidestepping retail margins and making the money we raise together to go as far as possible, directly supporting families and communities in Ukraine devastated by war. We will be driving and distributing our aid ourselves directly to Ukrainian refugees, working with groups and individuals we met and established connections with on our last trip. However, we will share updates on our progress along the way and social media links below.
We ask that you make donations of financial support here on our Go Fund Me page or by transferring funds directly to our PayPal account for this convoy. Details and further information are below.
Fundraiser page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/travelling-basket-friends-for-ukraine
Financial donation will go towards the purchasing of goods, medical supplies, food and electricity generators in Poland, which will be transported into Ukraine.
One of the most important things you can do is to write a personal message of support or knit a blanket or a baby hat etc why? Because aid is one thing, direct messages of love and support are another. We can pop little messages or gifts into parcels.
We will make sure we post regular updates of progress so everyone can follow the donations. And we hope this will offer you some ease, we recognise how difficult it is to be witness to the horror of war. We needed to act and we hope you can with us.
Jacek and Nathalie and friends,