gives a big shout out to
how a journey turned into a mission
The mission started to come into focus when stories about Ukrainian refugees where entering Poland and it was obvious help was needed.
They planned a journey to see relatives and to see where they could help with the refugees.
Tickets were bought to fly from Newark, NJ to Sweden and then on to Poland. Roughly 4,500 miles, as the crow flies.
Justyna, Jacob's Mom, was grateful for the generosity of her co-workers. They raised money for Ukrainian refugees and now their mission became two-fold.
First where to volunteer and help out and second, how was the best way to give the donated money to those most in need.
it was decided that Caritas Worldwide Catholic Charities was where Jacob and his Mom would volunteer once they reached Lodz, Poland.
First day at the charity was spent boxing a variety of foods and personal items. Each day started at 8:30a.m. and ended when there was nothing left to distribute.
Second day they unloaded trucks and organized them in a distribution area. Mostly refugees were women and children were bused to the center by the Polish army.
On day three, when food was running out, only clothing and personal hygiene items were available to be handed out, Items like soap and toothpaste. There were many more days to come.
The first part of the mission was successful! But they still needed to decide where the donated money would make the most impact.
As it turned out they found a two bedroom, one bathroom apartment in which 21 refugees where living together.
With the donated funds they were able to fill an entire van full of food. Some cheese, water, yogurt, fruit, a few toys and items for a pregnant woman.
But the story doesn't end there....
Jacob made two friends while he was working. One was 14 and the other was 15 yrs. old. When asked what they wanted the most the response was Adidas shoes, a soccer ball and chocolate.
Having helped so many people and experiencing various refugee situations was rewarding, but also difficult and Jacob couldn't help but feel sorry for these people.
They met a woman refugee from Kiev and really wanted to help her find a job and a place to live. They exchanged phone numbers but her number never worked. This was unfortunate because they really wanted to help her.
There was some downtime as well. Trips to parks and aqua swim with indoor slides helped to relax in the evenings. However there was always the constant reminder of war as safety updates were posted on all the trams they used for transportation.
Along with a warm heart, Jacob brought home some memorabilia to remind him of his mission.
we at adirondack teen Thank you for your service jacob!
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