Kaniv, Sonoma’s Ukrainian sister city, needs us more than ever. We were very generous in the first shock of Russia’s barbaric attack, but their need is continuous and growing. The devastation wrought by the Russians is horrific and frequently targets civilians.
Putin has announced that his purpose in this ruthless invasion is the unending expansion of a new Russian empire, including all of Europe and the U.S.! Ukraine is up against a military force hugely larger, and their incredible determination will not ultimately be sufficient without great material support.
For over eight years, Ukrainians have been sacrificing their lives to preserve democracy for all the rest of us, and we have allowed them to stand alone between us and an insatiable dictator.
They need our full backing. While we pressure our government to do much more, we, you and I, can support Ukraine ourselves. Donations from organizations, including Sonoma Sister Cities Association, are subject to numerous bureaucratic delays. Less than half of the money donated by Kaniv’s eight “Cities like Brothers” has been spent so far.
Money sent to individuals can be used immediately. The head of their sister cities organization and the founder of the “Volunteers of Kaniv” are longtime friends. I send your donations to them, and they spend it the same day on the most urgent needs. You can PayPal to my name (“friends and family”) or email me and we can connect.
Your money has already purchased an SUV and large quantities of food, trauma supplies and materials to make camouflage nets, sleeping mats, clothing, energy bars, trench candles, etc. and they need all sorts of supplies. Medical offices and hospitals often have supplies to donate. Old sweaters are needed to knit socks and old linens or fabric clothing. Please focus on things that are not heavy: shipping is very expensive, like packets of tuna rather than cans.
Our donations also help them support 3,000 (!) “internally displaced people,” who arrive with almost nothing, most of whom have no homes to return to. The population of Kaniv is slightly less than that of Sonoma Valley. Can you imagine us feeding, clothing, and housing 300, much less 3,000?
The volunteers have told me that having Americans work “alongside” them makes it easier for them to carry on, day after day, for eight years. I will send them photos of us.
With high hopes for peace and security for the peaceful people of Ukraine,
— Tarney Baldinger, Sonoma