Sunday, July 24, 2022

UKRAINE EFFORTS UPDATE...

A note to Dream of a Better World and all of our supporters.  There has not been nearly as much US news coverage lately, but for Ukraine... the WAR CONTINUES and their needs are great. This UPDATE comes straight from our Laura Pauli who is now in Poland, working with the woman who runs all of the volunteers for World Kitchen.  Here is her update and a few photos.
 

My name is Alina. I’m from Kherson, Ukraine originally but now I live in Poland. At the beginning of March, 2022 the city was invaded by Russia and is now occupied. A lot of people were trying to escape the city through other cities in Ukraine (Mykolaiv, Zaporizhzhia) or through another occupied territory- Crimea. The first way is much more dangerous, because officially there are no green corridors for citizens to leave the city safely. Families trying to flee Kherson, are unsure if they will survive or not. The second way through Crimea is easier as Russians feel that both territories are their property. Some citizens chose the second option to go through Russia to Georgia, Turkey, Poland etc.

Those who were unable to escape the city for any reason are now doing their best to survive. Kherson is now a humanitarian catastrophe. I have a short list of problems city has now:



1.     Humanitarian aid is not allowed to enter the city. The city is blocked by enemy forces.

2.     Many people have lost their jobs due to all factories, plants, shops, pharmacies, restaurants, or banks closing. People were fired from hospitals, utility companies, schools, and universities. The occupiers have forced remaining people with jobs to collaborate with the new government and new system. The same with police and local government: either you collaborate or you lose your work and salary. Citizens trapped in Kherson fear if they work with the russian government, they will be guilty of treason when the territory returns to Ukrainian control. To find work is nearly impossible.

3.     Retired people are unable to receive their pension by cash from the local post office. As Ukrainian post office doesn’t exist anymore, more than 30,000 retired people are unable to receive their pensions. The Russian government has proposed some payments, but locals are unsure how their new system will work.

4.     The banking system no longer functions at all. People can’t withdraw money, pay by card, make money transfers, receive money, etc. They can only use cash both in Ukrainian hryvna and Russian rubles. There are no official currency exchanges, only black market.

5.     Grocery stores, drugstores and pharmacies that existed before the occupation are now closed. The only option to buy anything is to go to an open air market. It looks like old Soviet Union market of 1990s when people where selling food, medicines, etc from their cars’ trunks. (photos attached). Some Russian companies started their work in the region (grocery shops) but the prices are so expensive, it’s impossible to buy anything.

6.     No cellular service, internet or wi-fi. The occupiers have blocked all cellular service, the city is cut off from the world. Most families have lost their connections with relatives and friends.

7.     To call for ambulance or police is almost impossible. If people need medical attention or emergency assistance, they may not receive help at all.

8.     If a family leaves their house vacant, Russians can use it for their needs without asking.

9.     It is not safe. People (especially those who are pro-Ukraine, politicians, social workers etc) have disappeared.

 

A lot of people need support, medical attention, food and money. I can’t even imagine what’s happening in small villages. I have relatives in one very small village in Kherson region (Podo-Kalinovka), and I haven’t heard from them at all since March 26th. To go there is dangerous, you need to go through several military check points and risk interrogation.

As I’m from that city, I know a lot of people who need help, whom I can trust, who lost their jobs and just want to try to live normal lives. It is impossible, for sure, but at least we can try to support them as much as possible.

Dream of a Better World is continuing to forward all donations to Laura for disbursement in helping meet the needs of these beautiful families.  

THANK YOU ALINA AND LAURA AND WORLD KITCHEN!  Thank you for caring enough to be there every day to help sustain and repair the shattered lives that have been so devastated by this senseless war.  

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Boots on the Ground for Ukraine Humanitarian Aid

Our compassionate friend and celebrated San Francisco chef Laura Pauli is headed to Poland to cook with World Central Kitchen and to offer humanitarian relief to Ukrainian citizens who have fled war-torn Ukraine for safety. Most of these people are women, children, and the elderly who have left behind courageous fathers, brothers, and sons to fight the Russian invasion.

 

Join us to support the team!

Laura will be cooking and serving daily meals in Przemsyl, Poland, just 3 miles from the Ukraine border. Close to the World Central Kitchen facilities is a building that was under construction before the war broke out. It’s called Tesco, and it is a giant store similar to our Costco. For now, this building is a refugee camp where Ukrainian people can have a place to stay and also get diapers, clothing, bedding and other supplies donated by the kind and generous people living in Poland. Laura and her team are working directly with these families, purchasing supplies like hygiene needs, diapers and baby food. In addition, they are supporting Ukrainians who plan to leave the country until the war ends, most of whom have friends and relatives living in other countries. Laura and her team are helping these families to obtain visas and buy airline tickets to other places in the world.

 

This is where we all come in! As the needs come in, Laura will be sharing the stories with us and we will fundraise in real time. Right now, there are many people waiting for visas, so airline tickets and travel expenses will be needed soon. These people are arriving with plastic bags filled with their life’s possessions, so some will need suitcases. Some will need new shoes after days of walking to the border. Some have not showered and may be offered a night in a hotel to rest, get clean, and then head back to the refugee center. Many need counseling and someone to cry with. This is emotional and hard.

 

The mission is supporting humanitarian efforts to move refugees out of Ukraine, and to meet their needs, with dignity and respect. 

 

Examples of aid provided to Ukrainian families over the past month through Laura and her friends fundraising efforts of about $5,000.00:

 

-       7 families (35 people total) received flights, transportation, temporary accommodations, food, and necessities to help navigate the fear and uncertainty of leaving their homes and not knowing where they will end up.

-       One Ukrainian family of 9 resettled in Ireland with relatives.

-       AirBnB for one week in Warsaw for a family waiting for visas to be processed to the move to the United Kingdom.

-       Relocating 3 families from Ukraine to safe spots.

-       $300.00 for the “Ukrainian Fighter Sewing Circle” that sews ballistic safety vests for Ukrainian fighters in Kyiv.

CLICK TO DONATE NOW

Please join us in supporting these ongoing efforts! All donations will go 100% directly to support those in Ukraine. Thank you for trusting us. Together we will make a difference!




Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Back to School Scholarship

Just a quick note to thank everyone again for all of your encouragement and recent support during this crazy time.  And, as we've said many times... the best way to say thank you is to share the results! 


This week we heard back from a part-time pastor in Kenya that we have known for many years.  His income generating vocation is in the tourism industry and he has been out of work for nearly two years.  So Dream of a Better World sent school fees to keep his children, ages 7, 11, 13 and 16 in school.  

 

Here is part of the note that Gedion sent us this week:

“From the bottom of my heart, may God bless you all so much. I was worried on how to pay for my kids school. Thank you!!! Thank you for being a blessing to my family. Praying to meet again God willing. I have been praying for my kids not to drop out of school the way it happened to me for lack of school fees and God has used you to see my kids through to clear 2022 school fees. I am humbled and we will keep praying for your friends with my wife and daughter.”   

 - Pastor Gedion & Family

Monday, December 13, 2021

Let’s Help Make the Season Brighter!

Hi Everyone!

Happy Holidays!! We’ve got a LOT going on this month.

Holiday Giving for Families

As with every year, we have chosen a few hard-working families who are struggling to make ends meet. Let’s gather our resources and give them all a very special reason to CELEBRATE the HOLIDAYS in 2021!   

 

This year we have chosen these four LOVELY families!

A large local family of seven, with kids ranging from 5 to 17. Their dad fell off a ladder a few months ago and is still recuperating, while his wife is working tirelessly to make ends meet. They are barely getting by, may need to move, and there is nothing left over for food or gifts for the holidays. This family is wonderful and we would love to help bring some holiday cheer during this stressful and challenging time.


A single dad, a gentle and humble man, who works day and night to pay rent and have enough food to eat for his two children, a young grandchild, and a niece. In addition to working as a handyman and painter, he is now studying for his contactors license to improve his ability to provide for his family. He is always upbeat and smiling, and operates out of a deep love for his family and for always doing what is right. Let’s make him smile even bigger by providing a Christmas dinner and some gifts for his family.

 

We have connected with two moms living in a nearby shelter for abused women. One mom is living there with her 1-year-old baby boy, trying to stay safe and figure out her next steps. Along with everyday life, there are expenses for the baby, including diapers and basic hygiene needs. The other mom has found a safe place to be for awhile. She is staying in the shelter with her 14-year-old daughter, hoping for a fresh start.

Holiday Giving for Kids

Once again, we are partnering with California Homemaker’s Association (CHA) to provide toys for children from homes where families are struggling and food insecure. We will collect donations of toys and funds, match them with the names on the list, and be sure that every child has at least one wrapped gift to open on Christmas morning. This is a wonderful project, and if anyone wants to help out with the shopping, wrapping, or delivery, please let us know!

 

Thank you for being there to support these wonderful people. We are SO grateful you are part of Dream of a Better World and our lives!

Go Dream Team!

With special thanks to Max, Kate, Pat, Tracy, Karen, Nicole & all of the Food and Gift Delivery Elves!

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Profits DONATED and MATCHED

Hey Everybody,

 

We have a SPECIAL BOOK CAMPAIGN

for making a difference this HOLIDAY SEASON. 

 

Diane Button’s new book, Dear Death, is getting great reviews and we are SUPER EXCITED to tell you that all of the profits for the rest of the year will be donated and
matched. That means that every book you buy for yourself or others, now until 12/31/21, is a WONDERFUL BEST SELLING gift… and will also help make the world a little bit better for families in need.

 

Thank you for your support over the years!  And, If you are interested in purchasing one or more books for the HOLIDAYS… or, just want more information: 

 

CLICK THIS LINK

(YOU WILL BE REDIRECTED TO THE BOOK WEBSITE)

 

This book purchase is not tax deductible and we won't even know who you are.  So, thank you in advance for your SUPPORT and we promise that 200% of profits from your purchase will go to making the world a little bit better.  Happy Holidays from Dream of a Better World.

 


Saturday, November 6, 2021

Got Some Extra Winter Coats?

Hi everyone,

This year we’re happy to be lending a hand to the Ritter Center’s annual winter coat drive, and we would love to have your help! Ritter Center is a special organization that is dedicated to providing inclusive and accessible support to individuals and families who are low-income or homeless. They provide those in need with medical care, food, and other basic needs, as well as other important services such as behavioral health counseling, substance use treatment, and more. They are the type of organization that loves to go above and beyond to help the people that walk through their door, and that’s something we always love to support! If you would like to support them, too, and you’ve got a few spare coats that you and your family don’t use anymore, then call or text me at 615-293-2009 so that I can pick them up before the drive ends on November 10th!

Thank you so much!

Hannah