Businesses band together to support Ukraine

  • A Ukrainian flag on display in Peterborough Monday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 3/21/2022 1:57:45 PM
Modified: 3/21/2022 1:56:56 PM

Local businesses have banded together to collect donations for Ukrainian refugees. Donations will be accepted at 80 Peterborough St. in Jaffrey, where Belletetes is allowing the collection effort to take place in the former Family Dollar space it owns in Monadnock Plaza, until 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 24

A group of locals have organized the effort to get the donations to Poland, which will be distributed to Ukrainian refugees seeking asylum in the country.

“This is strictly grassroots, people coming together,” said Marc Tieger of Jaffrey, who is helping to organize the effort and get the word out to the community.

Organizational efforts took shape when a couple Jaffrey residents decided they needed to do something to help Ukrainians displaced by the war. They reached out to Tieger and he was all in. He connected with Roxanne Barnes, a realtor in Portsmouth, who had just been featured on WMUR speaking about her effort to collect supplies. Barnes had recently learned that a Ukrainian woman in Stratham was collecting donations to be sent to Ukrainian refugees. She was moved to act and told everyone she knew.

“I thought we’d have maybe 20 boxes,” she said, but her co-workers and friends blew her away. She said one woman she works with brought in “truckloads of donations from her town.” The donations were loaded onto the plane and sent out on March 13.

Barnes and Tieger had hoped to collect more donations and send them out on another plane at the end of the month, but last week there was an unexpected bump in the road. The Attorney General called and said the group of volunteers helping collect, sort and transport donations wasn’t an official charitable trust so they couldn’t receive or ship any more items unless they filled out the paperwork to become one – which could take weeks – or they could partner with an existing organization.

“We found out about a group upstate,” Tieger said. The non-profit is called NuDay and its mission is to provide aid to people experiencing humanitarian crises. They have provided support to Syrian refugees and their aim is to empower women and children fleeing conflict. They agreed to partner with the Jaffrey initiative and donations were permitted to start coming in again. Now, the items will travel to Poland via cargo ship instead of plane. The donations will be transported from Jaffrey to Derry on March 25 where the items will be packed into shipping containers, then on to Boston where they will cross the ocean.

The group is specifically asking for blankets, sleeping bags, pillows, clothes, coats, mittens, hats, first aid kits, medical supplies, diapers, feminine hygiene products, hand sanitizer, and small toys.

Barnes and the Portsmouth initiative has coordinated a few donation drop-off options on the eastern side of the state. People can bring critical donations such as non-perishable food, warm clothing, camping equipment, medical and first aid items, and Ziplock bags, to the Protection for the Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church at 54 Walnut St., in Manchester between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sundays. The Ukrainian Catholic Church is also accepting financial donations by check or Venmo. All items, critical and non-critical, can be donated at the “Prayer for Ukraine Fundraiser” at ODA Auto Precision, 32 Manchester Road in Auburn between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. through 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Since Barnes was featured on WMUR, she said she has received hundreds of calls from people interested in donating.

Donations in the Monadnock region will be accepted from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 80 Peterborough St., through March 24. Anyone with questions should contact Tieger at 603-532-8765.


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