When Russia first invaded Ukraine, one of our people-served (Jodie) approached me saying she wanted to do something to help the people in Ukraine. I was beside myself, unsure how we could do that. She and her two friends (Beth and Sally) drew pictures of sunflowers, hearts, peace signs and words like love and peace. The artwork they made used only the colors of the Ukrainian flag. A Board member (Lynn Damon) is a photographer, and she photographed their art. We then printed notecards in our Main Office.
Online, I was able to locate a European-based NGO that would funnel donations to those in need in Ukraine. The organization is called Inclusion Europe, and they aid awareness and inclusion of people with developmental disabilities. With all the elements worked out by the end of March, I created a social media campaign called Cards for Ukraine for the month of April. Here was the pitch:
There are more than 260,000 people with intellectual disabilities in Ukraine. Most of them and their families were unable to leave their homes to protect themselves.
We must not forget them.
MARC, Inc.'s people served want to help. So they created a line of 6 notecards designed and packaged by artists with IDD. The money raised this April will be donated to Inclusion Europe, for the express purpose of benefitting those with disabilities in Ukraine.
Upon the end of April, they had raised $1,156.00, plus another $300.00 was collected in May. I had them sign every 'Thank You' letter. They also packaged up the set of notecards that were sent as a gift of thanks to donors. The hand addressed the envelopes themselves.
I am so proud of Jodie, Beth and Sally and here is why: they saw suffering in the world, and thought "How can I help?" And they did something. Their compassion, their vision and their action inspires me!