Moved by the tragedy unfolding in the Ukraine, boutique volunteers at Mother Marianne’s West Side Kitchen packed and donated children’s and women’s clothing to the war-relief drive spearheaded by Ukrainian immigrant Viktoriya Runkevich.
“We gathered and delivered nine boxes of baby & children’s clothing, baby blankets, women’s sweaters and pants, along with some Bombas socks to the Ukrainian humanitarian relief project at the Slovic Pentecostol Church in Schuyler,” reports Boutique Coordinator Nancy Robert.
The boxes were loaded onto trucks headed to relief flights to Poland.
“We have started boxing more baby & children’s clothing so we are prepared for her next relief drop-off,” Nancy notes, adding a thank-you to UHaul Moving & Storage of West Utica General Mgr. Courtney Gallagher & staff as they have donated shipping boxes and tape for the project.
The Oneida Indian Nation and Turning Stone Casino Resort, where Viktoriya works, recently joined the relief effort and honored her.
Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter presented Viktoriya with two feathers as a symbol of friendship and solidarity – one for her to share with her Ukrainian community in Central New York and the other is being sent with the donations to the people of Ukraine.
“This feather is a representation of the Eagle feather, believed among the Oneida People to signify the highest expression of good wishes and warm friendship,” said Halbritter. “We present this friendship feather in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, with deep admiration of your strength, perseverance and incredible sacrifice.”
PHOTO AT TOP: West Side Boutique Volunteers Kathy TenEyck (left) and Nancy Robert flank relief organizer Viktoriya Runkevich as they pose with Ukrianian volunteers at the Slavic Pentecostal Church.