Former Taunton Fire Chief Collecting Items to Assist Ukrainian Refugees
Not many among us have watched the news footage coming out of Ukraine without feeling a great deal of sadness for the Ukrainian people, hundreds of thousands of whom are now refugees. The images of young children, terrified and confused, forced to leave their homes and most of their possessions behind, have moved us all.
The level of suffering and pain experienced by the Ukrainian people is unimaginable for most Americans who want to help but are unsure of what they can do to make a difference.
Unfortunately, there is precious little we can do to stop the horror. None of us possesses a magic wand to wave to end the violence. There is simply no way to undo what has been done.
There is a way, however, that we can help ease the burden of those who have had to seek refuge far from their homes.
Retired Taunton Fire Chief Tom Downey is gathering supplies to send to Ukraine. Chief Downey has established a drop-off center at the 772d Military Police Headquarters at 111 Honorable Gordon M. Owner Riverway across from Taunton High School. Donations can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Donations on nights and weekends can be brought to the Central Fire Station at 50 School Street in Taunton.
"Just watching all those women and children being displaced from their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs" is what motivated him to launch this effort, Downing said.
According to the City of Taunton website, "Donated items may include shoes, clothing, blankets, coats, medical supplies, diapers, formula, or any other items that may be useful to help meet the needs of the Ukrainian people, who are leaving everything behind."
"If possible, please place items in boxes and mark them, as this will be helpful for easy shipment to those in need," Downey said.
He is urging residents throughout the region to respond to the call.
"We're not taking any money at this point," he said. "Some store gift certificates such as Dollar Tree to purchase more hygiene supplies would be welcomed."
In a statement to WBSM, Taunton Mayor Shaunna O'Connell said, "I want to thank former Chief Downey for organizing this effort to help the Ukrainian people. I'm sure many people will join in supporting those that are defending freedom and democracy."
Would you be willing to help?