Winter looms large for both Ukrainians and refugees who have fled to neighboring regions. According to the IRC, the average temperature during a Ukrainian winter is 23 to 36 degrees. In some regions, though, temperatures regularly drop to minus 5. Heavy snowfall has already been recorded throughout much of the country, and Ukraine’s Energy Industry Research Centre has reported that power has been disrupted in more than 10.5 million households — roughly half of the country’s population.
“About 50% of Ukraine’s energy systems have been damaged, and 45% of Kyiv currently doesn’t have access to electricity,” said Antonina Antosha, spokesperson of Ukrainian energy provider DTEK Group as reported by Foreign Policy.
Convoy of Hope is making sure those we serve are as prepared as possible for the coming winter months.
Since the war began, Convoy of Hope’s response to the war in Ukraine has served more than 2.5 million people in 102 communities across 16 countries. As 2022 ends and the one-year anniversary of the war approaches, Convoy remains committed to serving the people of Ukraine and making sure — despite the circumstances — that they have hope for tomorrow.
December 7, 2022 | 3:45 p.m.
Children in Ukraine have suffered immensely from the war. War is scarring for adults … for children, the traumas of living in a war-torn country can derail their entire lives.
When the war began, caretakers at orphanages and parents across Ukraine knew the only sure way to keep their children safe: leave the country. But where could they go? How would they transport dozens of children safely through a war zone? And how would they feed everyone?
Watch this video to see how these brave volunteers stepped in to keep Ukrainian children safe and how Convoy of Hope was part of the solution.
November 22, 2022 | 4:34 p.m.
The war in Ukraine continues. Recent bombings significantly damaged their power grid, and temperatures in the region are expected to drop far below freezing. As winter sets in across eastern Europe, cold-weather necessities are becoming even more important for those seeking shelter.
ROMA Boots and Demi Tebow recently partnered with Convoy of Hope to provide boots to refugee children displaced by the ongoing war in Ukraine.
“For me, this [partnership] is very special — not only because I was born in Romania and am part Ukrainian, but because I was given hope over 30 years ago and I was able to migrate to the U.S. as a refugee,” says ROMA Boots Founder Samuel Bistrian. “To be able to donate 100,000 boots to Ukrainian refugees in the same region where I was born, to children who desperately need them, with a great organization like Convoy of Hope, is truly monumental.”
ROMA Boots donates one brand new pair of boots to a child in need for every pair sold. Over the last 12 years, the company has donated hundreds of thousands of boots in more than 30 countries around the world. The company’s mission is to bring impoverished children hope, love, and lasting change through aid and education.
“It’s been such an honor to be able to come alongside ROMA Boots and Convoy of Hope, to see firsthand the hope that these boots bring to children in need,” says Demi Tebow. “As winter begins setting in across eastern Europe, refugees and impoverished children need help and hope more than ever. I’m honored to join ROMA and Convoy to help make a lasting impact in the communities that have been affected.”
The World Health Organization recently reported that half of Ukraine’s energy infrastructure is either damaged or destroyed, and 10 million people are without power. According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, thousands upon thousands of Ukrainian men, women, and children have been killed or injured since the war began.
November 2, 2022 | 2:15 p.m.
Daryia is 17 years old, and her life has been turned upside down because of the war in Ukraine.
Instead of living the life of a 17-year-old, she is living life as a refugee. Instead of spending days with friends and finishing her education, she is completely responsible for her 6-year-old brother, Aleksander. And instead of coming home each night to her family, she sits in another country and tries not to think about those she loves living in a war zone.
“The war started near our place, and we were under occupation,” Daryia said. “We heard the rockets and the bombs and the explosions. It was so dangerous to stay there.”
It is still incredibly dangerous to be in Ukraine. Recent bombing has seriously damaged 40% of the country’s power grid. Rolling blackouts in Kyiv have become a daily occurrence. More than 800,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed since the war began in February. On top of it all, the traditionally brutal Ukrainian winter is beginning.
But Convoy of Hope remains committed to providing food, water, and relief supplies to people suffering from the conflict.
At the start of the war, Daryia and her entire family — father, mother, brother, and grandmother — didn’t leave their house for a month. Her parents became so concerned for their safety that they sent them 250 miles west, but even that wasn’t far enough to escape the fighting. Her mother told her to flee to Romania so they wouldn’t constantly be wondering about her safety.
Daryia agreed, under one condition. “I said I would only go with my brother. I won’t leave him behind.”
She found her way to a group home for children whose parents sent them out of Ukraine and away from the war. There, Daryia and Aleksander live with 35 other children, just waiting for the war to end. But through it all, they receive healthy meals each day through Convoy of Hope.
Daryia’s main goal is to keep Aleksander safe. “Sometimes he’s so sad,” she said with sadness. “He misses his mom. Especially in the evening, he can start to cry. But I’m next to him. And we are together.”
When asked if she had become a mother figure to him, she sighed and said, “Yeah. It was not my habit to look after my brother, but day by day, I have adapted to be like a mother for him.”
She’s endlessly grateful for the group home, though. “For me, it’s security. From the other side, I know that it’s very important that I’m here and my brother is here. We’re safe, and nothing bad will happen here.”
Convoy is working through partners in 16 countries to distribute relief supplies. After months and months of war, the needs of those trying to escape violence continue to press in on them.
But Daryia — even through the tragedy and fear — has found a way to give back. Several of the children living with her and Aleksander come to her to have their hair combed, braided, or decorated. When asked if she helps the girls and boys with their hair, she laughed.
October 19, 2022 | 11:59 a.m.
October has been brutally difficult for Ukrainians. Shelling has occurred in nearly all major population centers. People across the nation are afraid, and it has been reported that many are leaving big cities and going to rural villages for safety.
In the middle of this chaotic and fearful time, school started for Ukrainian children in September. Because of the war, many did not have school supplies.
Through the partnership, Convoy of Hope purchased and distributed more than 2,000 backpacks filled with school supplies and a pair of shoes.
“I had a conversation with one of our Ukrainian team members at our warehouse,” said Convoy’s Neemias Cortes. “They shared that, in Ukraine, people usually take out a loan to purchase school supplies for their kids. When someone gives them the supplies instead, they can’t believe it.”
Convoy of Hope continues to distribute food and winterization items in the most needed areas. A truckload of space heaters will be sent to cities on the frontlines of the war, where attacks have damaged heating systems. In Romania, Convoy and local partners recently distributed 7,000 bags of food to Ukrainian refugees this week.
October 7, 2022 | 8:17 a.m.
Convoy of Hope has served more than 2.1 million people in 102 cities and villages as part of our response to the war in Ukraine. In 16 countries across Europe, refugees are receiving a warm meal and the knowledge that someone cares for them.
As winter weather begins to set in across Eastern Europe, relief has never been more important. Many families across Ukraine do not have the ability to heat their homes due to the damage caused by incessant missile strikes. Many families couldn’t plant or harvest during the summer because of the war — the gardens they managed to plant will soon be covered with snow.
Convoy and its partners are equipping refugees with the supplies they need to weather what could be a brutal winter. More than 170 truckloads of food have been delivered to nearly all corners of Ukraine, providing aid to refugees, the elderly, those with access and functional needs, and even hospitals. Along with food, we’ve been able to provide some medical equipment and medical aid.
In addition to the truckloads delivered in Ukraine, 170 containers of relief supplies have either been delivered, cleared, or are in transit to Poland. In Romania, more than 7,000 bags of food will be given to Ukrainian refugees this week, and nearly 80 containers of relief supplies have either been delivered, cleared, or are in transit to the country.
The weariness of war is weighing heavily on Ukrainians. Join Convoy of Hope as we commit to providing relief for Ukraine until this conflict is over.
September 13, 2022 | 12:46 p.m.
The Ukrainian military regained more than 1,000 square miles of land in the Kharkiv region over the weekend. Ukrainians hope this is a turning point in the war that will more quickly lead to peace.
Convoy continues to deliver relief supplies further and further east as more communities gain liberation and as needs continue to be highest closer to the front lines.
“There’s no single residential building that wasn’t damaged,” Izium’s mayor, Valeriy Marchenko, told The New York Times. “Heating is the biggest problem. I doubt whether we would be able to restore the heating system before winter.”
Regardless of the news, war still rages in the country. The stability of Zaporizhzhia’s nuclear power plant continues to be a major concern, and fighting in the south of the country continues to be fierce.
Convoy of Hope is committed to providing relief to Ukrainians affected by the war. Whether they live in the war zone or have fled to neighboring countries, Convoy and our partners are doing everything we can to provide hope in this unpredictable storm.
August 30, 2022 | 3:50 p.m.
A team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is en route to Ukraine’s nuclear power plant inZaporizhzhia. Recent shelling came dangerously close to the plant, triggering fears of a potential disaster. Thankfully, scientists have not recorded any abnormal radiation levels. The IAEA will verify those reports and inspect the facility for any hazards.
The war goes on, but so does Convoy of Hope’s efforts to feed Ukrainians in need. Convoy continues to deliver food, water, and relief supplies to those whose lives have been turned upside down by the conflict.
Below are images from inside Ukraine and in bordering countries where Convoy is serving refugees.
August 26, 2022 | 9:33 a.m.
More than 10 million Ukrainians have fled their homes since the start of the war. That’s four and a half times the population of Los Angeles.
Convoy of Hope is still responding to the crisis. So far:
160 containers have been delivered, cleared, or are in transit to Convoy’s warehouse in Poland.
80 containers have been sent to Romania and Albania.
This week, our team in Poland plans to send 11 tractor-trailer loads of food, water, and relief supplies into Ukraine. And in Romania, our partners are distributing thousands of family food kits.
Sadly, we’ve gotten word that local churches and nonprofits are overwhelmed with refugees moving through their cities. The need is still great. Thank you for your continued support and your commitment to the people of Ukraine.
August 23, 2022 | 3:45 p.m.
Recent drone footage captured Convoy of Hope team members and volunteers unloading supplies into a warehouse in Poland, which is where they will be prepared for distribution.
The drone gives an inside look on how Convoy’s generous partners and supporters are helping survivors of the war in Ukraine. As we pass the 6-month mark of extreme conflict, your support is needed now more than ever.
In partnership with The Salvation Army and FedEx, Convoy of Hope sent a shipment of 30 pallets containing food, hygiene kits, baby care kits, and water filters to Poland. These supplies are being distributed to Ukrainian women and children.
To date, 160 shipping containers have been cleared, delivered, or are in transit to Poland from Convoy of Hope’s World Distribution Center. These supplies, which were readily available in Ukraine 6 months ago, are now difficult — if not impossible — for people to find.
Millions of survivors are left vulnerable by the war, but Convoy’s partnership with volunteers on the ground ensures they will not go without help. Convoy of Hope continues to anticipate items that refugees might need in preparation for the winter.
Teams are continuing to work toward the goal of providing 50 million meals to the people of Ukraine.
August 17, 2022 | 2:55 p.m.
The war is nearing its six-month mark, and fighting continues throughout eastern Ukraine. Convoy of Hope is still delivering much-needed food and supplies to sustain those whose lives have turned upside down.
In recent weeks, the region of Crimea has seen increased fighting. Additionally, intense scenes have broken out at the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia.
Numbers estimating Ukrainian and Russian fatalities since the war’s start vary by source. The UN (OHCHR) estimates that more than 13,000 Ukraininans have been killed or wounded. According to Newsweek, more than 75,000 Russians have been killed or wounded since the start of the war.
What is for sure, is that areas not caught in the fighting are full to the brim with refugees. Millions are facing extreme circumstances to feed and shelter their families. Day and night, volunteers load unmarked vehicles with relief supplies, drive across the border, and distribute resources to people who need them most.
As we look toward the possibility of a war that extends into the winter, the need for support is increasing. Without your help, this would not be possible.
August 12, 2022 | 10:15 a.m.
For Ukrainians, your support is more than just food, water, and relief supplies — it’s hope. They know they aren’t alone.
Your commitment to those in Ukraine has never wavered. Thank you for supporting Convoy of Hope and the work we are doing in response to the war. Because of your steadfast partnership, our teams and partners on the ground are delivering hope day after day, week after week, month after month.
August 5, 2022 | 10:12 a.m.
Word of mouth and increasing needs have the line at one of Convoy’s distributions in Ukraine growing longer and longer. The combination of compromised food supply lines, millions of people displaced, and the massive disruption to people’s ability to work has created an extremely dire situation.
What food remains in local stores is not enough for the entire community. Thousands of internally displaced people are also taking refuge in what was once a place to shop for groceries.
Watch the video below of a recent distribution inside Ukraine as thousands wait in line.
Unlike many natural disasters — where the worst happens and recovery begins immediately — the need generated by the war in Ukraine is continuing to grow.
But your support is being felt by the Ukrainian people. To further support Convoy’s work serving Ukrainians affected by the war, explore options through our Relief for Ukraine campaign.
July 26, 2022 | 5:12 p.m.
In a monumental move, Russia and Ukraine signed an agreement Friday to free more than 20 million metric tons of grain stuck in Black Sea ports. This allows for exported trade and brings grain prices down to alleviate hunger.
This agreement has also paved the way for Convoy of Hope to provide more help to people affected by the war in Ukraine — one truckload at a time. Freeing up ports also frees up trucks within the country, allowing for more capacity to transport relief supplies.
To date, there are more than 325 million people worldwide experiencing “shock hunger,” classified as living in crisis levels of food insecurity. The effects of the war have kept this number on the rise. Freeing Ukraine’s main ports will be a relief for many on the receiving end.
In one way, open ports are a relief for the economy. During the time that ports were blocked, Ukrainians tried to export grain through other countries. This unfortunately added more complications to food transportation. Port access will streamline trade exponentially, and food prices will likely go down.
For Convoy, open ports mean lower transportation costs. Due to the dangers of war, delivering a load of supplies is nearly six times more expensive today, according to Convoy of Hope’s Senior Director of International Disaster Services Ryan Grabill.
“For relief agencies, it means you can only do a sixth of what you could do with the same amount of money,” Ryan said. “If this deal helps that issue, it would be a game changer for agencies distributing aid.”
But it’s less about prices improving and more about improving the efficiency of reaching people in need. Ukrainians are facing many unknowns — with shelled crops and ports being targeted — but they can rely on Convoy of Hope to provide relief.
Convoy of Hope remains committed to linking arms with the people of Ukraine in this desperate time. To learn more about our response to the war in Ukraine and how you can help, click here.
July 22, 2022 | 10:58 a.m.
Unlike a hurricane or an earthquake, the war in Ukraine continues to unfold and deteriorate. This conflict requires a unique response to help those suffering the most.
The Relief for Ukraine campaign supports Convoy of Hope’s long-term efforts to help people affected by the war. Convoy is working with partners throughout Eastern Europe to provide food, water, and relief supplies to refugees and those who are caring for them.
Watch this video from President Hal Donaldson to see what your generosity is accomplishing.
July 15, 2022 | 11:40 p.m.
The potential for a global food crisis on the horizon. The war in Ukraine is not the only reason for the shortage. But, combined with COVID-19, fuel shortages, shipping delays, and climate crises, the war is playing a devastating role.
A new U.N. report on hunger revealed that 828 million people went hungry in 2021. Compared to 782 million the previous year, it’s an increase of 46 million people.
“There is a real danger these numbers will climb even higher in the months ahead,” said World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley. “The global price spikes in food, fuel, and fertilizers that we are seeing as a result of the crisis in Ukraine threaten to push countries around the world into famine. The result will be global destabilization, starvation, and mass migration on an unprecedented scale. We have to act today to avert this looming catastrophe.”
In response to the war, Convoy of Hope is expanding its work to 14 countries. Ten are in Europe, and four are in other regions of the world but are heavily impacted by the war. Convoy is working tirelessly to supply food and increase food production in areas where famine is possible.
Europe – Convoy is supplying food and relief supplies to communities in Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine.
Outside Europe – Convoy is serving people in three countries in the Middle East and one in the Horn of Africa where food is scarce because of the war.
For those who live on the cusp or in poverty, the possibility of hunger, famine, and starvation is becoming more real.
“A staggering 50 million people in 45 countries are just one step from famine,” said David Beasley of the World Food Program. “There is a real danger these numbers will climb even higher in the months ahead.”
Convoy of Hope is helping bridge the gap between those who can provide support and those whose futures are in serious jeopardy.
July 6, 2022 | 10:05 p.m.
*The story below contains a firsthand account of human suffering and war, which some readers may find disturbing.
The city of Mariupol has been one of the largest casualties of the war in Ukraine. Massive sections of the once-vibrant port city are in shambles and thousands of civilians are dead. Nowhere is safe, and no section of the city has gone unscathed.
Convoy of Hope has continuously responded to the conflict since the beginning. Teams are still serving refugees who have fled Ukraine as well as those displaced within the country.
Karolina is one of those people. She has lived in Mariupol her entire life. At 19 years old, she had plans, goals, and dreams. “Before the war, I was taking online classes … I had a job and everything was fine. Everyone lived their own lives and dreamed of a better future for themselves.”
When her mother startled her awake on February 24, that way of life ended.
Fighting intensified quickly. Days and weeks passed as the city gradually burned to the ground. Chaos erupted as people looted shops and food became difficult to find. Electricity, water, and gas shut down. People trapped in the city cooked over open fires when they weren’t hiding in their basements.
“We all shared what food we had, helped everyone we could,” Karolina said. “It soon became apparent we could never go back upstairs to our apartment. If we did and a missile hit, we knew we would be killed.”
The cost of human life in Mariupol has been enormous.
“Probably the worst thing for me was to see so much death,” Karolina says. “Bodies lying on the road. Children were buried in blankets. They died of starvation or illnesses for which they could not receive medication. It was not uncommon to see at least 10 crosses near each high-rise building for the dead.”
When Karolina finally had the chance to escape, it also came at a great cost — she had to leave most of her friends and family behind. Many were too old to travel. Others felt like they couldn’t leave people behind. Only Karolina and her sister took the opportunity to leave.
Their escape was perilous. They had to trust strangers when passing through an active war zone and more than 30 checkpoints.
“A large section of the road was mined. One wrong move and you exploded,” Karolina said. “When we all passed the first Ukrainian checkpoint and our driver stopped to rest, we all climbed out of the car and started crying.”
They made their way to Lviv, where Convoy of Hope and its partners welcomed them with open arms. “Thank you … for the help, food, hygiene products that you provide us,” Karolina said. “As soon as we came here, we immediately understood that here we will be able to rest.”
The suffering in Ukraine is immense, and so is the need. That’s why Convoy remains committed to providing 50 million meals to people affected by the war.
Thank you for joining us as we provide hope to people whose lives have turned upside down.
More than 125 days into the war in Ukraine, the needs in the country are still prevalent. Heavy fighting continues, with intense bombardment in eastern Ukraine and missiles hitting Kyiv.
The war has left medical centers overwhelmed, and families are in desperate situations. But thanks to Convoy of Hope’s generous supporters, we’ve been able to expand our aid.
The Salvation Army recently partnered with Convoy, donating $1 million worth of food and logistics to the response. Convoy recently received additional medical supplies from another generous partner. These valuable supplies are continally being sent to health care facilities in Ukraine.
Help in Romania & Poland
For those fleeing the war, border countries can be a source of refuge in an uncertain time.
Convoy is continuing to purchase truckloads of product in Romania and 10 containers filled with relief supplies have arrived in country.Volunteers from a local partner organization repackaged the purchased food into kits that will be distributed in Ukraine. At a recent distribution, at least 600 people showed up to receive food. On average, volunteers in Romania are distributing 5,000 food kits per week and are working to increase that number as needs grow across the reigion.
On the border of Poland, a ministry group is helping greet thousands of refugees with supplies Convoy has provided.
The group, which has been there since the start of the war, prepares food, coffee and tea, supplies, and children’s toys for incoming Ukrainians. As buses make stops on the Polish border, these volunteers are there to bring “a good word and some food” to refugees who have gone days without a hot meal.
Nikolas, who is helping prepare meals at the border in Poland, says it can be easy to focus on the major cities where refugees land and overlook the work at the border.
“In Poland, people think about the cities. They don’t think about the border,” he said. “But on border, [it’s where you] open the door, you get to say, ‘Good morning, welcome to Poland.’”
With all the pain Ukrainians are going through, some normalcy and acts of kindness can make the biggest difference, Nikolas said.
The Ongoing Effort
Convoy continues to serve alongside volunteers and partners towards its pledge to provide 50 million meals to Ukrainians affected by the war. Hundreds of thousands have been helped thanks to your generosity.
To continue supporting Ukrainians in need, you can donate here.
June 24, 2022 | 8:45 a.m.
NBC’s Ellison Barber recently reported on Convoy of Hope’s commitment to feed the people of Ukraine. Watch as she visits Convoy of Hope’s warehouse in Poland and follows an aid shipment into the heart of the war zone.
June 15, 2022 | 4 p.m.
It’s been four months since the life of every Ukrainian was turned upside down. And since the beginning of the conflict, Convoy of Hope has been doing everything possible to help those who are hurting.
The documentary below chronicles our efforts so far and highlights the courageous Ukrainians we’ve been blessed to serve.
June 9, 2022 | 2:55 p.m.
Ukrainian church pastor Aleksandr writes in a Facebook post, “Back again on the road …”
Church members of all ages lined up to load a van heading into Eastern Ukraine with Convoy of Hope relief kits for people on the front lines. Some smiled, holding up the bags to a camera.
In early May, a Ukrainian church delivered a van of Convoy kits to Ukrainians fighting for their country and to those living in bomb shelters. They distributed around 700 Convoy relief kits and took five trips’ worth to Ukrainian soldiers.
In the middle of so much suffering, these church members are providing hope to their neighbors. Their efforts provide a significant contribution to Convoy of Hope’s pledge to provide 50 million meals to Ukrainians affected by the war.
Some of the folks working with the church quit their jobs to provide transportation. Clad in helmets and bulletproof vests, they drove supplies to meet Ukrainians in need. With rising fuel prices in Europe, this is no small feat to pay for out of pocket.
Altogether, they have provided groceries, personal hygiene products, clothing — and most of all, hope.
Sadly, this situation is all too familiar to Aleksandr, as Ukraine faced a deadly armed conflict in 2014-16. But he said volunteering during that time helped prepare him to respond to this war.
“When you understand why you are doing this and realize that soldiers are there every day, you do what you can, hoping for God’s protection,” he said.
And their work isn’t over. This Ukrainian church continues to be a hub of hope for displaced people in need of supplies.
“We believe that God unites us for great service,” Aleksandr said.
Thank you for your continued support as Aleksandr’s church helps Convoy get supplies to Ukrainians amid the war.
June 2, 2022 | 4:30 p.m.
Convoy of Hope’s response to the war in Ukraine is now entering its fourth month. As needs have increased throughout Europe, so has the scale of Convoy’s response.
Convoy of Hope continues to serve Ukrainains who are displaced or in need throughout eight European countries. More than 6.8 million Ukrainians are sheltering in countries outside of their own. Meanwhile, as military clashes have moved east, approximately 2.2 million Ukrainians have re-entered their communities to assess the damage.
Earlier this week, Nila and Eduard Zelinska returned to a burnt-out shell of what they used to call home. Among the rubble sat a doll that once belonged to a grandchild of theirs.
“May there be peace on earth, peace so that our people are not suffering so much,” Nila told Associated Press reporters.
Tragically, some Ukrainains still remain trapped in war zones. As fighting continues near homes and makeshift shelters, many are pinned down with little access to food, water, electricity, and other necessities.
“One community where one of our partners delivered relief supplies in Ukraine hadn’t had anyone come with supplies for 30 days,” said Mackenzie Edwards of Convoy’s Disaster Services team. “Bridges into the community were totally destroyed, so they used logs, limbs, two-by-fours, and whatever they could find to build a makeshift bridge to get access into the community. Upon their arrival, they met people who survived on the juice from their pickled produce and fruit compote. The people were so grateful for the food because they had gone so long without any humanitarian aid.”
Convoy of Hope remains determined to provide at least 50 million meals to Ukrainians in need, in addition to other necessities like water, medical supplies, hygiene items, and sheltering supplies. Thank you for your support as Convoy continues to meet needs across Europe.
May 27, 2022 | 11:20 a.m.
On the morning of February 24, Sasha and her husband woke up to the sound of bombs dropping around their home. She is one of the millions now displaced because of the war in Ukraine. Convoy of Hope continues to serve survivors like Sasha who remain in need due to the war.
“The whole nation woke up — either from the sounds of bombs or from the phone calls they got from their families,” Sasha said.
The first few hours after the war began were tumultuous and chaotic. Sasha and her husband, Misha, assessed the situation and tried to come up with a plan. But by the time they were ready to leave, the situation had changed drastically. Grocery stores ran out of food and desperate Ukrainians emptied ATMs. Traffic turned to gridlock as cars ran out of gas on main roads and fuel became scarce.
“We realized that it was already too late to leave Kyiv,” said Sasha. “We didn’t know where we were going to go, because we didn’t plan to leave Ukraine.”
Sasha and Misha began their slow journey west, toward Lviv. Under normal circumstances, the drive would take five or six hours.
“It took us almost the whole 24-hour period to get there because of the traffic,” Sasha said. “Usually, you have three lanes one way and three lanes the other way. At this time, it was eight lanes one way.”
On the road, Sasha and Misha became aware of another concern. Although they had lived in Ukraine for many years, they are Belarusian by nationality. Their cars had Belarusian license plates. Historically, Belarus and Russia have aligned politically in ways Ukrainians often oppose. As tensions rose throughout Ukraine, Misha and Sasha began to feel less and less safe.
“We were advised to leave as soon as we can,” Sasha said. “We saw a lot of bad things along the way.”
They continued to drive west, toward the Ukrainian-Polish border. In Poland, they hoped they might be safe. When they arrived at the border, they quickly realized their journey was far from over.
“The lines at the border were huge — we’re talking not hours; we’re talking days,” Sasha said. “During all this time we didn’t get any sleep. We couldn’t. If we stop and sleep, then we’d lose our place in line.”
After waiting for 36 hours at the border crossing, a woman began knocking on car windows in the traffic. She had two disabled children, and she was desperate to get them to safety. Sasha’s car was completely full, but with a bit of ingenuity, they made room in Misha’s car. They strapped one of the children’s wheelchairs on top.
“They didn’t care that we had a Belarussian license plate,” Sasha said. “They just knew what we were running from.”
After another 20 hours, they finally arrived in Poland. They relied on the kindness of organizations like Convoy of Hope as they rested.
“We were so tired that we couldn’t walk,” Sasha said. “For the next week, we were just eating, sleeping, and trying to figure out what to do next.”
Sasha received a call from a friend who said that Convoy of Hope was assisting refugees in Poland. They needed translators, and Sasha knew she could help. When all else was uncertain, she chose to do the next kind thing.
“The situation that seemed hopeless from the beginning — because we just fled, not knowing anything about our future — turned out to be good for us,” she said.
Sasha realized that the more she helped others, the more her own needs were met. She devoted more of her attention toward assisting the refugees around her.
“Even in times like this, there is hope,” Sasha said. “And we can do something to help.”
Sasha is one of more than 6.5 million people who fled Ukraine. Her future is still uncertain, but she will continue to help in any way she can.
Thanks to your continued support, Convoy of Hope will provide 50 million meals in response to the war. Convoy will continue to help survivors recover and rebuild.
May 26, 2022 | 8:09 a.m.
Since the start of the war three months ago, more than 6.5 million Ukrainians have fled their country. Convoy of Hope’s response to this crisis has grown and will continue to adapt and expand into the long term.
“Our operations continue to expand, so much so that we had to secure additional warehouse space,” said Ryan Grabill of Convoy’s Disaster Services team.
Convoy’s growing warehouse capacity throughout Europe continues to meet needs. More than 20 shipments have arrived in the past weeks. The supplies arrive by land, sea, and air, and then pass through the warehouse and into the hands of refugees. More than 130 additional loads of relief supplies are en route to Convoy’s warehouses in Europe.
“It’s everything you could think of,” Ryan said. “Hygiene kits, baby supplies, lots of food, generators, medical supplies, blankets, flashlights, new clothes and footwear, bedding, disinfectant supplies, laundry detergent, water filters, even items like kids’ toys and puzzles.”
Some of the goods Convoy distributes meet immediate physical needs. Others, Ryan said, meet psychological needs.
“Emotional and psychological health is very important in disaster response,” he added.
As Russian troops withdraw from areas near Kyiv, some Ukrainians have returned home. Many of them find very little among the rubble.
“Some of the areas Convoy is serving right now have no power and water,” Ryan said.
Still, the Ukrainians Convoy of Hope serves are grateful to people like you who, through Convoy, support them each day.
“I know that we are heard. The world has already paid a lot of attention to us,” one Ukrainian refugee told Convoy as she arrived in Poland. “Thank you a lot.”
May 17, 2022 | 4 p.m.
Convoy of Hope continues to serve refugees in eight European countries. Behind each of the 50 million meals Convoy will distribute is someone with a unique story.
“I love my country. I love my people,” Tanya said through a translator. She quickly gave up trying to fight back tears. “We do not want war.”
Tanya has four sons. After the war began, she fled to Poland with three of them, leaving her eldest and her husband behind.
“This morning, my husband called me,” she said. “He said that he loves me.”
Tanya keeps her family connected through brief phone conversations and prays for safety between each call. Were it not for her kids, Tanya said, she would have stayed behind. For now, her husband transports Ukrainian women and children out of the war zone.
“If they have another wave of attacks, he may have to fight,” Tanya said. “In our town, there’s a base where it’s very dangerous.”
When she left her hometown, many were hiding in basements and makeshift bomb shelters. Some lacked access to food and basic necessities. Since Tanya found shelter in Poland, she urges others to make the difficult choice to flee, even if it means leaving behind homes and loved ones.
“Right now I’m helping to inform our people,” she said. “They’re afraid to leave. They don’t know where they would go. I’m giving them the information. My husband is driving people; I’m telling them they need to go.”
Despite the circumstances, shortly after arriving in Poland, Tanya took time out of her day to volunteer with Convoy of Hope and help other refugees as they arrived. “We hope that all of the world will help us to overcome this,” she said.
Tanya is one of more than 6.2 million Ukrainian refugees relying on the kindness of strangers for basic necessities. With the help of donors, partners, and supporters, Convoy is meeting as many needs as possible.
May 12, 2022 | 2:45 p.m.
Convoy of Hope’s partners and team members in Hungary are hard at work to meet the needs of Roma refugees fleeing from Ukraine. Among Hungarian refugee camps, Convoy is providing food, water, and relief supplies.
Even before the war began, much of Ukraine’s Roma population struggled with lack of food security, employment opportunities, and common resources. Additionally, a lack of identification documents can limit access to healthcare and travel for Roma people.
Cristina, a 41-year-old Roma woman who fled from the war, asked, “If a bomb falls on your house and you hear a tank shooting, what will you grab first: documents or your children?”
Ukraine’s largest percentage of Roma people lives in Zakarpattia Oblast, which borders Hungary. There, and in the refugee camps, is where Convoy of Hope is working.
Larisa’s family was separated when her husband was drafted to serve in the Ukrainian army. Without access to work or healthcare, she wondered what would become of her and her loved ones.
“I understand that this is the law, but without a son and a husband, I cannot live,” said Larisa. “How do you live? What am I to do?”
Another woman, Nalinda, echoed Larisa’s sentiment.
“It’s not easy to get a job in general. People see that we are Roma and they are afraid [to hire us],” she said. “Without work, she cannot provide for her children; yet, her plight is often met with cynicism.”
Thank you for standing with Convoy of Hope as Convoy helps displaced Ukrainians throughout Europe.
May 10, 2022 | 4:35 p.m.
Convoy of Hope President Hal Donaldson recently announced that throughout the course of this response, Convoy of Hope will provide more than 50 million meals to Ukrainians in need. Convoy will continue to work with partners throughout Europe to establish logistical steps and distribution plans.
“The economic consequences from the war spread fast and far, to neighbors and beyond,” said Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund. “As we hope for peace, we must do all we can to help Ukraine and all impacted countries.”
The war has already taken a significant toll on Ukraine’s economy. Many survivors still lack access to basic necessities like food, water, and hygiene items.
“This is already terrifying,” said Maria Repko, Deputy Director of the Center for Economic Strategy. “Old supply chains through the ports are not working and won’t resume operation in the nearest future.”
Convoy of Hope continues to help those in need in Ukraine and throughout Europe as the war robs more survivors of basic necessities. Relief supplies from Convoy of Hope are continually being transported into Ukraine and distributed to families in need through help from Convoy’s partners.
Thank you for supporting Convoy as we support the people of Ukraine.
May 5, 2022 | 3:25 p.m.
Since the start of the war, Convoy of Hope has served more than 2.2 million meals to more than 400,000 people across Europe. Convoy is also distributing other much-needed relief supplies relating to hygiene and shelter. More than 50 operational partners throughout Europe have assisted Convoy of Hope in this response.
As Russian military forces move east, some people are returning to their hometowns. Upon arrival, many see the destruction of their homes and communities. Others are still fleeing from the violence.
“There was shooting. We heard the shots and explosions,” Lilian said. For more than 10 days, Lilian sought shelter in a basement before fleeing to Romania. There, she received emergency relief supplies from Convoy of Hope. “I’m very grateful to you,” she said.
Tatyana, likewise, fled to Romania from Kharkiv a week after the fighting began. It took her a grueling three days to reach safety. She and her daughter found shelter in a small apartment shared by multiple families.
“It was horrible,” she said, bursting into tears. “Now we have no jobs, no home, and we are really grateful for you. Thank you.”
Tatyana embraced a volunteer while both fought back more tears. Her daughter sat nearby, holding yellow and blue balloons — Ukraine’s national colors.
Through your support, Convoy will continue serving survivors like Tatyana and Lilian. Thank you for standing with Convoy of Hope, and in doing so, standing with the people of Ukraine.
Since war broke out in Ukraine, Convoy of Hope has distributed more than 2 million meals to hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians across eight countries. Millions of pounds of additional relief supplies are also en route to Europe.
Partners like Catalin make this crisis response possible.
“I don’t think anybody could have the words to describe the need of what’s going on right now in Ukraine,” said Catalin. He described how jarring it was when he saw people of all economic classes waiting in line together for necessities. “You realize, wow — life can be that fragile,” he said.
Convoy of Hope will continue to provide relief for refugees and internally displaced Ukrainians through food, water, hygiene supplies, baby care items, medical supplies, bedding, clothing, sheltering supplies, emergency lighting, and generators.
“It’s fantastic… it’s worth everything,” Catalin said. “It makes a big, big difference.”
Thank you for partnering with Convoy of Hope to stand with Ukrainians in need.
As tensions escalate across Europe, Convoy of Hope continues to help Ukrainians across eight European countries. The war has devastated agriculture, causing shortages of food and other commodities. Convoy of Hope is working to mitigate this need in communities around the world through its Agriculture program.
“We’ve got to start producing food in the here and now to prepare for the future,” said David Vanderpool, Convoy of Hope’s Global Food and Agriculture Specialist.
Since the war began, world market prices have risen 89% for products like maize, soybeans, and wheat. In 2021 alone, Ukraine and Russia accounted for 20% of the world’s exports of maize and wheat. But with the war, hopes for the 2022 harvest are not high. Even if farms yield crops, exporting them may be difficult or impossible with blocked and damaged ports.
Countries who rely heavily on imported crops will feel the brunt of the blow. For example, Lebanon — a country facing a years-long economic crisis and a 90% loss in value of currency — receives 80% of its wheat from Ukraine.
The training and resources Convoy of Hope provides through its Agriculture program equip communities to create sustainable solutions to food insecurity crises around the world.
“If Convoy of Hope can come alongside farmers to increase food productivity — maybe even start projects like greenhouses, which is something we’re considering here — we can increase the amount of food that is available and accessible to the refugees coming across the border,” said David. “We can really stave off a hunger disaster that is not only imminent but could be ongoing.”
April 27, 2022 | 4:05 p.m.
Convoy of Hope delivered 10 tons of food aid to a city in central Ukraine — a link between the eastern and western sides of the country. Convoy is also adding multiple freight loads of locally purchased supplies, which allow teams to provide culturally appropriate meals to Ukrainians and a boost the local economy.
Work in other European countries, like Romania, helps to mitigate food shortages. But with the war in Ukraine now in its third month, vital necessities are increasingly scarce for many. Concerns over food and commodity shortages around the world continue to grow.
“It’s bad. Very bad … hopeless,” Andiry, a resident of Ukraine’s Donbas region told The Associated Press. “You feel so helpless that you don’t know what you should do or shouldn’t do.”
Many in Andriy’s community are struggling to survive. Out of necessity, they collect rainwater and ration it for future use. Elsewhere, entire provinces remain without electricity, creating massive hurdles for Ukrainians to communicate with loved ones and enjoy simple comforts like light.
Since many of the military clashes have moved toward Ukraine’s eastern border, some Ukrainians who previously sought shelter in neighboring countries have begun to reenter. Needs for emergency sheltering supplies and daily necessities like groceries have increased within Ukraine’s borders.
By standing with Convoy, you stand with more than 12 million displaced Ukrainians still in need of hope. Thank you for supporting Convoy of Hope as this crisis continues.
This week, many will look to Ukraine and remember the horror that unfolded on April 26, 1986. When a reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded — leaking large quantities of radioactive material — it forced the evacuation of approximately 350,000 Ukrainians.
Now, 36 years later, the war in Ukraine has caused a displacement crisis more than 30 times greater. Convoy of Hope is continuing to provide aid to Ukrainians in need throughout Europe — all with the help of partners, donors, and volunteers.
Volunteers like Olga.
Since the 1980s (when Ukraine was still part of the former Soviet Union), Olga has watched her country withstand a number of major historical events. When war broke out on February 24, she couldn’t look away.
“When the war began, it really had a profound impact on my heart,” she said. “I just wanted to do something to help.”
Olga learned of an opportunity to travel to Poland and assist refugees seeking shelter there. Soon after, she joined Convoy of Hope team members in Europe as refugees poured over the Polish-Ukrainian border.
“Within a few hours’ notice, I packed my bags and flew out with the rest of the team,” said Olga.
Now, Olga assists Convoy of Hope team members in Europe with communications: translating documents, cooperating with other humanitarian organizations, and doing what she can to help.
“I’m just so thankful to be here with Convoy of Hope. The work that Convoy and all the other organizations are working together on is monumental,” she said.
Because of your support and the help of volunteers like Olga, Convoy of Hope has provided emergency relief in the form of food, water, sheltering supplies, and other necessities to hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians throughout eight countries. Your support allows organizations like Convoy to continue sharing hope.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart, as a Ukrainian,” Olga said.
Delivering supplies into an active war zone requires an extra measure of strategic thinking and agility. Convoy of Hope has quickly found ways to navigate ever-present challenges to help people in need amid the war in Ukraine.
Whether by land, air, or sea, relief supplies are being delivered to strategic hubs spread across eight European countries. Relief supplies are quickly processed and sent off for distribution to people in and outside of Ukraine.
“Polish drivers don’t want to go into the war zone, so they don’t want to cross the border,” said Joel, Convoy of Hope’s warehouse manager in Poland. “Ukrainian drivers are willing to do it, but due to martial law and some other things, they’re not allowed to go out of the country.”
Fortunately, Convoy obtained special permissions that allow Ukrainian drivers to temporarily leave the country to pick up relief supplies, then deliver them to distribution centers in Ukraine.
“We try to have it out of the warehouse as fast as possible,” Joel said.
Thanks to generous supporters, dedicated team members, a wide-reaching network of partners, and decades of experience, Convoy of Hope continues to provide food, water, and relief supplies to Ukrainians scattered across Europe.
“We thank Convoy of Hope for the opportunity to help Ukraine,” said Savochka, who manages a Convoy of Hope warehouse in Ukraine. “And it is true that Ukraine needs help so much today.”
April 19, 2022 | 4:15 p.m.
Convoy of Hope’s response continues to grow in kind, providing emergency relief supplies and hope to Ukrainians in and outside of the country’s borders.
“The desperation levels for them are at peak levels right now. The need is immense,” said Chris Dudley, a Convoy team member deployed to Europe. “We want to be able to provide hope, we want to be able to provide food, and meet other needs that they have.”
Convoy of Hope purchases many supplies locally, while simultaneously shipping others internationally, exponentially increasing the capacity for team members across eight countries to help people in need.
“We could not do this work without you,” Chris said. “On behalf of the people of Ukraine, thank you so much.”
April 18, 2022 | 4:20 p.m.
Since war broke out in Ukraine on February 24, volunteers, donors, and other supporters have found creative ways to help more than 160,000 Ukrainians in need. As news continues to spread about “the second phase of the war” and attacks in and around Donbas, Convoy of Hope is grateful for people like Roman, who continue giving whatever time and resources they can.
Rather than resting on his day off, Roman, a resident of war-torn Ukraine, joined team members at an in-country Convoy of Hope warehouse. They spent the day working to make sure others received emergency relief supplies.
“I think if I have a free day, I must help people,” he said. “We must help and we must do what we can do.”
Thanks to Roman and the many supporters and volunteers around the world, Convoy of Hope has served tens of thousands of individuals affected by the war in Ukraine. Thank you for partnering with Convoy during this crisis.
April 14, 2022 | 4:30 p.m.
Throughout Ukraine and in refugee hubs like Poland and Romania, Convoy has provided hope to more than 160,000 refugees in the form of food, water, hygiene supplies, baby care items, medical supplies, bedding, clothing, sheltering supplies, emergency lighting, and generators. Convoy will continue to meet these needs as the war enters its eighth week.
“We are very nervous,” Anton, a Ukrainian refugee, said. “We could hear shooting … It was very hard and scary. There wasn’t a shelter from the bombs near my house so we were just in the living room during the danger.”
When Anton was 6 years old, he moved to a small town just outside of Kyiv. Now 19, the war has forced him to move again — this time, to Romania. Anton is one of more than 4.7 million Ukrainians now displaced as a result of the war.
When he first arrived, shelter was hard to find and he was separated from his family.
“I think in this situation, our dog saved us,” he said. While searching for a place to stay in Romania, Anton’s dog began barking, prompting a stranger to come outside and assess the commotion. “He understood that we were from Ukraine. I was very surprised when he just took his car and showed us this place. That was two days ago.”
While speaking with Convoy of Hope team members in Romania, Anton froze when a car or tractor drove by. To him, they sounded like tanks and helicopters.
“It’s just very hard not to know when everything will end and when I’m going to see my friends and relatives,” Anton said.
For now, he is just grateful for the help and support he receives in Romania.
“I think that Ukraine is very grateful to you,” said Anton. “The help is very, very big. I hope that everything is going to be in the best way it can be and that there won’t be any more dead people and broken hearts, and that everything is going to be alright soon.”
April 11, 2022 | 3:20 p.m.
Multiple containers of relief supplies continue to flow into Convoy of Hope’s warehouses throughout Europe — by land, air, and sea. Convoy’s team transports these vital necessities to distribution sites in besieged Ukrainian cities, refugee hubs, and other areas where Ukrainians reside.
“Getting here was not the easiest,” Convoy of Hope’s Ryan Grabill said while standing in Convoy’s warehouse in Ukraine. “Being here and seeing the process happening is incredible. It helps complete the picture for us as we continue to move forward in this response.”
Despite dangers and logistical challenges, Convoy’s team in Europe continues to improve efficiency, and perfect both procurement and delivery systems. Meanwhile, as more refugees pour into Romania, Poland, and other countries throughout Europe, Convoy’s team members are assessing real-time needs to meet them with speed and accuracy.
Thank you for helping Convoy get hope into the hands of those who need it most.
April 8, 2022 | 11:45 a.m.
Convoy of Hope is providing relief for more than 125,000 refugees across eight countries in Europe, including Ukraine. An on-the-ground team in Romania is putting systems in place to help even more Ukrainians as they cross the border.
While the majority of refugees have fled to Poland, world leaders are predicting Romania may be the next country to receive an influx of people. Convoy teams are providing for these individuals while also using partnerships to move supplies from Romania into the heart of Ukraine.
“People fleeing the war are running from a desperate situation,” said Convoy of Hope’s David Vanderpool. “They need food, not just to be healthy but also to have hope. Food is one of the best forms of hope that we can have. When you have a full stomach, you can plan for the future.”
With the help of generous donors, Convoy of Hope has supplied refugees with tuna, beans, pasta, dehydrated potatoes, rice, tomato paste, canned meat, and cooking oil. These groceries are providing physical and emotional nourishment for people just trying to make it to tomorrow.
Some of the donations Convoy has received are being used to supply groups like Fight for Freedom, which is working with a network of pastors in Ukraine.
“Fight for Freedom started when the war started,” said David. “This center was originally built to help ex-convicts reintegrate back into society after prison, and now they are helping others in need. We either take supplies to a warehouse or we meet in parking lots to exchange from semitruck to semitruck, and then Fight for Freedom hauls it.”
Even though the journey is overwhelming and dangerous, Convoy is committed to helping Ukrainians as they navigate the sorrow that comes with war. The work continues thanks to generous donors and Convoy’s brave partners who are willing to help those in need, despite the risks.
Convoy of Hope is on the front lines of the war in Ukraine, offering critical relief in the form of food, water, mattresses, baby food, hygiene kits, and generators. Since the start of the war, Convoy has helped more than 125,000 Ukrainians — both in Ukraine and in surrounding countries.
Andrew is one of them.
“My home is in Kyiv, so I have no home anymore. That’s not easy. That’s my country. That’s my people,” Andrew said while holding back tears. “It’s not easy to hear all of these horrible things and not to see my family for three or four months. Now I don’t know if I will see them in the future.”
Andrew’s story is devastating. What’s even more devastating is that roughly 4 million Ukrainian refugees share similar experiences. After six weeks of living out of a single suitcase, their supplies are gone and hope seems far off.
“People in Ukraine really need this food. Some people die because they have no food or water,” Andrew said.
Right now, millions of refugees and displaced people inside Ukraine are relying on the generosity of others — possibly for months to come.
“When you have a lot, you feel like this is nothing. Like for you, it’s nothing,” said Andrew. “But when you have nothing, this food is like, ‘Oh my God, my family is still alive because we have food! That’s enough, because today we have food.’”
Thank you for helping Convoy help people like Andrew. Thank you for standing with Ukraine, even when the outcome of the war is uncertain.
Convoy of Hope, along with courageous partners in Eastern Europe, is delivering relief supplies to survivors in Ukraine. Supplies include food, water, hygiene items, baby food, and mattresses. Since the start of the war, Convoy has served more than 101,000 Ukrainians.
As needs grow and conflict continues to unfold, so do the stories of open doors for Convoy of Hope to reach hurting people. Communities in Ukraine that are nearly impossible to reach are finding relief because of this response.
“After facing some significant logistical challenges related to inbound product, God went before Convoy’s team, finalizing paperwork and processes that normally take weeks in just a matter of hours,” one team member explained from Convoy’s warehouse in Poland. “This will significantly help our team to increase the amount of product going into Ukraine.”
The Associated Press reports seven people were killed and 34 wounded — including children — by shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city. Ukrainian officials also reported the discovery of 410 civilian bodies in towns around Kyiv.
“Ukrainian people are enduring a living hell,” United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said. “At the same time, we cannot lose hope.”
In recent days, several countries are starting to boycott Russian gas exports in an attempt to financially disable Russia. Until the war is over and in the time afterward, Convoy of Hope is committed to helping as many people as possible for as long as possible.
Convoy of Hope can only respond in this capacity because of the generosity of donors and partners. To further fuel Convoy’s response, any donation given will be doubled today.
April 1, 2022 | 11 a.m.
Five weeks and counting, and there is no end in sight. Russian forces continue to pound areas around Ukraine’s capital and other populous cities. Convoy of Hope’s response has grown alongside the volume of refugees moving across multiple borders into safety.
Despite the constant conflict, Convoy’s teams are bringing relief to Ukrainians on their darkest days. Through the generosity of donors and partners around the world, Convoy continues to provide food, water, mattresses, baby food, shelter, hygiene items, emergency lighting, and generators to refugees across eight countries.
According to the Associated Press, Russian forces attacked portions of Ukraine just hours after pledging to scale back operations in those same areas. Ukrainian officials said Russian shelling hit homes, shops, libraries, and other civilian infrastructure in the northern city of Chernihiv and on the outskirts of Kyiv.
Convoy’s warehouses in Ukraine, Poland, and Romania are distributing life-sustaining supplies as soon as they come in — most of which have been purchased through partners in Eastern Europe.
Convoy is thankful for the donors and partners who have made this response possible. Thank you for helping Convoy help others.
March 30, 2022 | 4:25 p.m.
While the number of Ukrainian refugees recently climbed past 4 million, Convoy of Hope’s response grew to meet increasing needs in and around Ukraine. Convoy has already served more than 100,000 displaced Ukrainians and will continue to reach those in need across eight European countries.
Convoy continues to send small, unmarked vehicles across the Ukrainian border, which are full of relief supplies like food, water, hygiene items, bedding supplies, clothes, and other necessities. Weeks’ worth of paperwork, which Convoy miraculously completed in a matter of hours, increased the capacity for this response to meet needs — even in dangerous conditions.
“Sirens are going off in the city,” said Ryan Grabill, a Convoy of Hope team member deployed to Europe, in a video message recorded in a bomb shelter. “In the place where we’re staying, they threw the fire alarm so people could come downstairs.”
Taking cover in makeshift bomb shelters has become commonplace for many Ukrainians and relief workers as violence has spread further west in recent weeks. Due to logistical challenges and ever-present danger, some communities are nearly impossible to reach. Still, Convoy’s courageous drivers deliver necessities to those who need them, despite the risks.
Dangerous complications show no sign of waning. Still, Convoy of Hope transports multiple loads of relief supplies each day. With eight containers of additional resources en route now, and 24 more following close behind, Convoy is poised to continue providing relief to Ukrainians in this time of need.
“This is the crematorium of a former Nazi concentration camp,” Convoy of Hope’s Roger Flessing said, before noting a particularly stark contrast. “But literally right across the street is the Convoy of Hope warehouse, where hope and a whole lot of help are being delivered directly into Ukraine.”
In a similar manner — throughout Ukraine and other affected areas — Convoy of Hope stands with those in need.
“Thanks for your help,” Roger said. “Together, we are taking hope where it needs to be.”
March 28, 2022 | 4:45 p.m.
More than a month after the start of the war, the number of refugees seeking shelter in countries like Poland and Moldova is approaching 4 million: more than the cumulative population of Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota combined. Approximately 8 million are displaced within Ukraine’s borders — equivalent to the population of Utah, Idaho, and Nebraska.
Convoy of Hope has not waivered in its mission to meet Ukrainians where they are, supporting them as they live day by day. The response continues to grow alongside displacement numbers. Those displaced account for more than half of all Ukrainian children, and roughly a quarter of the country’s entire population.
“There are just people everywhere,” said Clayton Gilligan, a Convoy of Hope team member deployed to Europe.
Across eight countries, Convoy’s team is providing food, water, shelter, hygiene items, emergency lighting, generators, clothing, and other necessities to Ukrainians. In multiple cities throughout Ukraine — and in countries surrounding it — team members and partners are distributing relief supplies as Convoy of Hope’s response gains momentum.
Operations across Europe have kept a rotating door for loads of supplies to arrive at warehouses for rapid processing. The supplies are then shipped to people on the front lines of war and displacement.
“Supplies go to our warehouse in Poland, to Ukraine, and then immediately go to where they will do the most good,” said Roger Flessing, a Convoy team member recently deployed to Poland. “As soon as it comes in, it goes out.”
As Russian military action continues in pivotal cities like Mariupol, Convoy of Hope is preparing for an additional influx of refugees in southern countries like Romania.
Similarly, due to the fact that Ukraine and Russia account for one-third of all global grain exports, Convoy of Hope team members are anticipating solutions to potential hunger crises still to come. The U.N. estimates that the number of undernourished people could increase by 8 to 13 million globally within the next year.
Convoy of Hope will continue to stand with those in need throughout this crisis. Thank you for partnering with Convoy to help displaced Ukrainians.
March 27, 2022 | 8 p.m.
As needs continue to surface due to the war in Ukraine, Convoy of Hope continues to find new and effective ways to meet them.
According to the United Nations, more than half of all Ukrainian children are now displaced and the majority of refugees seeking shelter in countries like Poland are women and children. The nature of this crisis has created a particularly great need for some products in particular.
“Babies don’t have anything to eat. There’s nothing in the country,” one Convoy team member in Europe pointed out. Convoy of Hope stepped in to fill that need. “We focused on buying an entire truck full of baby food.”
Using its warehouse in Poland, Convoy of Hope prepared baby food — procured from another European country — and sent it across the Polish-Ukrainian border in unmarked tractor-trailers to Ukrainians in need.
Convoy of Hope will continue to identify and meet the needs of refugees and internally displaced persons across Europe. Thank you for partnering with Convoy as we support Ukrainians in desperate need.
March 26, 2022 | 9:35 a.m.
“Together, we’re going to keep sending as much as we can, as fast as we can,” said Clayton Gilligan, a Convoy of Hope team member deployed to Poland.
As the week came to a close, Convoy continued to find ways to reach Ukrainians displaced across eight countries. Unmarked trucks and air freight took centerstage as Convoy sent product east from the procured warehouse in Poland and across the Polish-Ukrainian border.
“As fast as we can get product, it’s going,” Clayton said. “It feels like the whole country is coming together to make sure people are okay. Everybody’s dropping their everyday lives and figuring out how to help people.”
Thank you for partnering with Convoy of Hope as we serve Ukrainians amid the war.
March 25, 2022 | 3:05 p.m.
The war in Ukraine has now been going on for one month. This milestone marks the beginning of a crisis that displaced millions and cut many off from basic necessities. Convoy of Hope is meeting those needs by providing shelter, food, water, and other emergency relief supplies to Ukrainians across eight countries.
More than half of Ukraine’s children are now displaced, according to The United Nations. Many fled to countries like Poland and Hungary. Moldova’s ratio of refugees to citizens is now nearly 1-to-25, which is almost unfathomable.
Convoy is hard at work providing shelter, bedding, food, water, hygiene items, generators, emergency lighting, and other necessities that Ukrainians — both in and outside of their country — desperately need. Convoy of Hope’s warehouse in Poland facilitates distributions while partners across Europe ensure quick and effective relief.
“We have tears in our eyes when we see how people are helping each other,” one Ukrainian man told Convoy.
Convoy of Hope will continue to stand with Ukrainians as needs continue to surface. To support this response and others like it, click here.
March 23, 2022 | 1 p.m.
Convoy of Hope continues to provide relief supplies to those in desperate need as a result of the war in Ukraine. In this video taken yesterday, thousands of residents in an undisclosed Ukrainian city wait in line to receive life-sustaining food that Convoy is providing. The sounds of bombs exploding and fighter jets flying overhead is constant — and sadly normal.
“It’s a long line — over 2,500 people,” Convoy of Hope’s partner on the ground explained. “And they are bombing hard right now.”
Scenes like this are happening every day. It’s because of your support that Convoy can continue to help the people of Ukraine. Thank you for your support.
March 21, 2022 | 6:15 p.m.
The number of Ukrainian refugees continued to climb over the weekend, with approximately 3.5 million people seeking shelter in neighboring countries. More than 2 million of them are in Poland and at least 6 million more are displaced inside Ukraine. As the scope of this crisis increases, Convoy of Hope is providing food, water, sheltering supplies, and other necessities.
Within the first few weeks of Convoy’s response, tens of thousands of refugees received relief. Strategic partnerships across Europe proved vital to the procurement, transportation, and distribution of relief supplies. Convoy transported resources by land, air, and sea to overcome ever-present logistical challenges.
Meanwhile, team members from Convoy of Hope’s global headquarters traveled to Poland and facilitated relief efforts throughout Ukraine and seven adjacent countries. Another team is preparing to deploy this week.
“The plan is to keep using the model of us bringing tangible things to the table to help maintain hope for people that are living in a war situation,” said Chris Dudley of Convoy of Hope’s Disaster Services team. “They don’t know if they’re going to be here tomorrow; they don’t know if they’re going to survive today.”
While at the Ukrainian-Polish border, Convoy of Hope’s team members met with a family of four generations as they traveled to escape the violence in Ukraine. After a 36-hour train ride, Katia, her mother Lila, her grandmother Rya, and her 2-year-old son Gabriel arrived in Poland. Originally from Romania, Katia was visiting her mother and grandmother in Ukraine when the war started. Once in Poland, her family received food, water, and hope for tomorrow.
Officials in Mariupol, Ukraine, reported that at least 2,300 people have lost their lives since Russia laid siege to the port city. Many are buried in mass graves, which are dug in long, narrow trenches. Survivors have spent weeks without reliable access to electricity, food, water, or the outside world.
Ukrainian authorities also warned of the potential for additional humanitarian crises, which may stem from large stores of wheat, corn, and barley being trapped in Ukraine. Additionally, damage to a chemical plant leaked toxic ammonia into the air, while Ukraine’s nuclear regulatory agency warned that radiation monitors around Chernobyl have stopped working. Some fear that a failure of these safety systems could escalate concerns and cause further displacement.
Convoy’s team members and partners throughout Europe will continue to meet people where they are in this crisis by providing food, water, sheltering supplies, hygiene items, emergency lighting, generators, shoes, socks, clothing, and resources for both transportation and accommodations.
Convoy of Hope is grateful for those who — despite inflation, pandemic concerns, and other mounting issues — have chosen to support this response by standing with Ukrainians in need. For many, the situation is incredibly dire. For some, life-or-death decisions are a daily routine. Still, Convoy is committed to providing immediate relief to Ukrainians across multiple countries.
March 19, 2022 | 4:45 p.m.
As attacks continue throughout Ukraine, displacing many in and outside of the country, Convoy of Hope continues providing emergency relief to survivors in eight different countries throughout Europe.
Since the war began on February 24, food and other groceries have been in short supply. One of the first needs Convoy meets during a crisis is that of basic necessities like food and water. A global network of partners makes it possible for Convoy to provide refugees and internally displaced Ukrainians with emergency relief, despite shortages in Europe. In the past few weeks, Convoy of Hope has used air freight, boats, cargo vans, and other means of transportation to ensure basic needs are met.
When a crisis leads to mass displacement, shelter quickly becomes a concern, as well. Convoy is facilitating shelter for Ukrainians in need of a safe place to stay. Supplies like sleeping mats, bedding, blankets, and tents meet immediate needs, while partners in countries like Moldova, Poland, and Ukraine make it possible for those fleeing the war to stay in churches and other facilities turned into shelters. Convoy of Hope also provides resources for transportation from border crossings to safe locations.
Many Ukrainians have found themselves in need of light and electricity, which provide peace of mind, safer conditions, and a source of hope. Convoy’s team members in Europe are providing emergency lighting and generators for those who would otherwise be without.
Convoy of Hope continues providing clothes, shoes, socks, hygiene items (particularly for women and children, who make up the majority of refugees), medical supplies, and other items to care for those in need and keep them hopeful.
Thank you for supporting Convoy as this response continues.
March 18, 2022 | 3:45 p.m.
Needs have become increasingly more urgent as the war continues to displace Ukrainians and reduce their access to basic necessities. Convoy of Hope is meeting these needs in a multitude of ways.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 3.2 million Ukrainians have sought refuge in countries like Poland, Moldova, Hungary, and Slovakia. The war has claimed thousands of civilians’ lives, Ukrainian officials reported, and displaced millions more within Ukraine’s borders.
Convoy of Hope has employed the use of cars, vans, trucks, and cargo ships to deliver essential relief supplies to Ukraine and surrounding countries.
Earlier this week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with the U.S. Congress, appealing for help and highlighting the dire circumstances in and around Ukraine. “This is a terror that Europe has not seen for 80 years,” said President Zelenskyy.
Even those not currently facing inherent dangers of war are still in desperate need. In western Ukraine, the city of Lviv has seen an influx of more than 200,000 people — a population increase of more than 30%. The mass migration has further exacerbated shortages of groceries, gasoline, and daily essentials.
Housing, even in areas still considered safe, has become difficult to find. An apartment in Uzhhorod, Ukraine, that was priced at $200 per month prior to the war is now $3,750 per month, if not higher. Ukrainians in dangerous locations just consider themselves lucky to be alive.
“There has been no light or gas in almost the entire Kyiv region for a week. For those in private homes, that means the water pump will not work. We have no water to drink,” one Ukrainian woman explained. “We were just glad that we were alive, but hope was dying fast.”
Things once considered daily necessities are now precious commodities for Ukranians trapped in war zones — things like food, electricity, safe shelter, and even light.
“We are sleeping on other people’s mattresses in pitch darkness,” she said, describing the abandoned basement that a group of Ukrainians converted to a bomb shelter. “Our phones are used mostly as flashlights, but we conserve the batteries like air in the enclosed space. Mostly, we sit in darkness in the unfinished basement with our children.”
Though she has since escaped and is now safe, many Ukrainians still find themselves in equally urgent situations.
Convoy of Hope’s response is specifically tailored to meet the needs of people in and outside of Ukraine. Across eight countries, Convoy of Hope is providing food, water, emergency lighting, generators, sheltering supplies, clothing, medical supplies, hygiene kits, and other essentials.
To support Convoy of Hope as this response continues, click here.
March 17, 2022 | 3 p.m.
As needs continue to grow and change, Convoy of Hope’s response to the war in Ukraine has remained agile and effective. Partners throughout Europe have allowed Convoy to quickly meet the needs of Ukrainians, even as the stories of survivors become more distressful. Convoy has resources en route via land, air, and sea, due to ever-increasing needs.
Convoy of Hope is currently active through staff and partners in eight countries, including Ukraine and Poland. Alongside local partners, Convoy has provided medical supplies, hygiene items, blankets and bedding, clothes, shoes, socks, sleeping bags and sleeping mats, tents, generators, emergency lighting, shelter, and resources to transport refugees from border crossings to safety.
“People are dying without water and food, and I think in the next several days we will count hundreds and thousands of deaths,” Serhiy Orlov, deputy mayor of Mariupol, said in a statement earlier this week.
Nina is one of many grateful survivors who made it out of Ukraine to safety. She and her three children fled after the war began — on the morning of her birthday. Like many, she left family members behind in the chaos.
“We led a wonderful life in Ukraine. We were not going anywhere,” she said. “And suddenly, in a moment, our life turned around. We had to leave everything, and we were scared.”
Nina’s oldest son, Maxim, was at a football camp in Ivano-Frankivsk when the shelling began. Russian artillery destroyed the airport just a few miles away. Over the phone, Maxim’s coach told Nina that there were explosions nearby and the children must evacuate. Panicked, Nina got her children home and turned on the news.
“We watched the news the whole day,” she said. “We had tears, panic, and we did not know what to do.”
Finally, she and her husband made a difficult decision. “We were scared for the children. We decided that they should live, should not see this, and should not go through it,” she said. She left with three of her four children, one of which is a newborn. Her eldest daughter and husband stayed behind to help people still in Ukraine.
Shortly after they began their escape, they realized their trouble was far from over. The line out of Lviv was long, and many roads were blocked by abandoned cars.
“We were in line at the border for four days,” Nina said. “We were not ready for such an experience. There was no food for so many days. There were no warm clothes. But thank you to those people who live in the border areas and the volunteers.”
After four long days, Nina and her children made it to safety. “We survived. We were helped with food,” she said. “I would like to say thank you. We feel supported by you.”
Once across the border, Nina reflected on memories of her grandfather, who served in the military in the 1940s. “My child, the main thing is peace on earth,” he used to tell her.
“I never understood those words,” she said. “We had hoped to the last that this would not happen.”
Still, Nina maintains hope that the war will soon end, she will be reunited with the rest of her family, and — once in her homeland — she may host those who helped them through this difficult time. “I do hope that one day you will come to our prosperous Ukraine, and we will meet you with our hospitality,” Nina said.
Nina represents more than 3 million others who have fled Ukraine and are now in need of relief. Millions more are displaced in Ukraine and are in need of food, water, and other necessities.
Thanks to your support, Convoy will continue providing hope and relief supplies to refugees and those internally displaced in Ukraine. Thank you for partnering with us.
March 16, 2022 | 5 p.m.
Convoy of Hope continues to send loads of relief supplies into Ukraine, providing hope to displaced people in need. Local partners in eight European countries have multiplied the magnitude and efficiency of Convoy’s response in and outside of Ukraine.
“I lived in America for 30 years and Ukraine for nine, so I consider myself an American,” said Dan of Connect Church in Springfield, Missouri. “News started pouring in and I realized that, emotionally, I’m still pretty attached to what’s going on here.”
Dan traveled back to Europe after the war started and began assisting Convoy’s teams on the ground. His connections helped facilitate transportation, distribution, and other vital logistical aspects of Convoy of Hope’s response to this crisis.
“We know that there is a window of opportunity right now, and as long as that window is open, then we want to jump through it with you,” Chris Dudley of Convoy’s Disaster Services team told local partners. “There are millions of people there that need help. So let’s do what we can.”
At the recently secured warehouse in Poland, the response team received additional loads of donated goods, which were then sorted and prepared for shipment into Ukraine the following day. Team members have continued receiving loads of locally purchased items, although many necessities have been in short supply. Once the supplies are in Ukraine, local churches will assist with distribution.
Additionally, MAP International has partnered with Convoy to provide medical supplies, antibiotics, hygiene items, and sheltering supplies. Other partners and supporters, like Elevation Church, have provided care kits for distribution to refugees and internally displaced Ukrainians as well.
Convoy is grateful for those who make this response possible by supporting people who don’t know what comes next. To support Convoy of Hope as this response continues, click here.
March 15, 2022 | 7:25 p.m.
The war in Ukraine continues after forcing more than 3 million refugees to seek shelter in neighboring countries. Despite this, Convoy of Hope is encouraged by the outpouring of support from people moved to assist those affected by this crisis. Right now, one of the best ways to support refugees is by providing care kits or hygiene kits.
Currently, there is a big need for baby care kits and menstrual health kits. As long as war continues displacing Ukrainians — primarily women and children — demand for both hygiene and infant care items will grow.
Why Donate To Create Kits?
Monetary donations for kits allow partners to be involved in a tangible and specific way while meeting one of Convoy of Hope’s greatest needs for a wide range of responses.
Donations given for kits are used to purchase supplies, such as soap, sanitary items, diapers, toiletries, and other necessities. Items for kits are purchased in bulk and then put together by volunteers at Hands of Hope. Once finished, kits are sent to those in need — in this case, refugees throughout Europe.
By donating to create kits, your money goes further quicker. And while donating physical kits can be useful, donating funds saves time and money — both of which are especially valuable during times of disaster or crisis.
So, instead of paying to create a kit (or two or three) and then paying to ship it to Convoy’s headquarters, consider donating to create kits. It will truly maximize your generosity.
Why Create Kits in Bulk?
Physically creating kits can be a great hands-on way for a church, company, or organization to make a difference. Additionally, there are even more kit options when packed in bulk.
If you are interested in providing kits in bulk to Convoy, download the checklists on this page and complete the registration form. A member of our team will be in touch soon!
Can I Just Send One or Two Kits?
Yes! Convoy is thankful for kit donations of all sizes. Since the organization is unable to pick up individual kits, we kindly request you ship them (or drop them off if local to Springfield) to our headquarters.
After registering your kit(s), a member of our team will be in touch with the shipping address. If creating and shipping a few kits is too much of a hassle, you can donate to create kits instead!
A Heartfelt Thanks
Whether you donate to create kits, pack them in bulk, or provide a single kit — we are grateful for your support and will steward your gift with integrity.
Every kit matters to both Convoy and the person in need who receives it.
March 14, 2022 | 5 p.m.
Since war broke out on February 24, many have spent more than two weeks in a country marred by upheaval. Others have spent more than two weeks in refugee camps, living out of suitcases and relying on others for basic necessities. As the conflict continues, Convoy of Hope will continue providing sustainable hope and emergency relief.
“It seems like for a lot of people, the reality is just now setting in,” one Convoy of Hope team member said. “A lot of people seemed to have a glazed-over look in their eyes.”
Many survivors, both in and outside of Ukraine, are now coming to terms with the fact that maintaining hope in this crisis is a marathon rather than a sprint. Russia’s military has intensified attacks on places like Kyiv and has continued moving westward. Recent strikes impacted areas less than 15 miles from Ukraine’s border with Poland.
A large majority of refugees are women and children, many of whom left family members behind. Dmytryi, a Convoy of Hope partner in Poland, was apart from his wife when the war began.
“In the morning, at 5:15, my wife phoned me,” he said. “She was in Kyiv. And she told me, ‘Dmytryi, we are being bombed.’ I told her to go down to the basement and run away. I said to her, ‘Please do it very, very quickly.’”
Despite the fact that his family has experienced such trauma, Dmytryi has been hard at work serving refugees since the war began.
“We did not sleep, we did not eat. People were in basements,” a 65-year-old refugee from Kharkiv said. When air raids first struck Kharkiv, he began driving to Poland. Bombings continued while he drove. Though his sons stayed behind to fight, he continues to treat others in need like family. “I believe that we should be [there] for each other — be one family.”
At least 12 million people are now in need of humanitarian assistance as a result of the war, a statement from The White House said. That number includes more than 2.8 million refugees in countries like Poland, Hungary, and Moldova, and another 1 million displaced inside Ukraine.
In times like these, hope is a necessity for survival. Convoy of Hope will continue providing people in need with food, water, shelter, and hope for tomorrow — both in and outside of Ukraine.
To support Convoy of Hope as this response continues, click here.
March 13, 2022 | 10:15 p.m.
Though the influx of refugees pouring over Ukraine’s border into neighboring countries has slowed since the war’s first weeks, the situation remains desperate for millions. Conflict has continued to edge closer to Poland and other countries on Ukraine’s westernmost border. Convoy of Hope continues to provide aid for refugees alongside many other individuals looking for ways to help.
“I am very grateful to you,” one refugee said after volunteering to help Convoy prepare a distribution center. “I am very glad that we are together, [that] we are able to be here and help.”
Shortly after Convoy of Hope secured a warehouse for storing relief supplies, refugees in Poland pitched in to prepare the space. Although many had little more than a suitcase to their name, they gave what they did have: time and goodwill.
“Thank God for Convoy of Hope,” another Ukrainian said while cleaning the warehouse. “This is an organization that really takes care of people. They really cry — they are with us. They went with us to the border. They aren’t only financing and giving clothes. They are worried about us and it is a blessing for Ukraine. May God bless you all.”
Many who have been affected by the war have found ways to give back. Rental properties, cafes, and churches have transformed into makeshift shelters throughout Ukraine and Poland. Several once-trendy restaurants in Ukraine have become kitchens to provide nutritious meals to hospitals and displaced people.
One local organization began partnering with Convoy to provide food and water to refugees as they cross the border. Because of this partnership, the organization now feeds thousands of refugees each day.
Olga Romanchuk was one of many looking for a way to serve after the war began. “I felt that I wanted to help, but I couldn’t bear arms,” she told The Kyiv Independent. “I thought, I can cut potatoes — everyone can.” Olga now works with an IT specialist, a chemist, and several others from various backgrounds who make and deliver food to those in need.
“We still should not give up hope. Don’t give up! You must believe! You must live,” another Ukrainian told other refugees while volunteering alongside Convoy team members.
Thanks to supporters like you, Convoy of Hope’s team members and partners in Europe continue to provide emergency relief and shelter for refugees in addition to unloading pallets of supplies for distribution in Ukraine.
Convoy is grateful for those who — like many currently in desperate need — continue to give what they can to provide for those who need it most. To support this response and others like it, click here.
March 12, 2022 | 4:45 p.m.
Bombings and other attacks reached further west as the week came to a close. Many Ukrainians who thought they were outside of harm’s way are now questioning whether their distance from Russia’s border has any bearing on their safety. As the war displaces more civilians, Convoy of Hope is finding additional ways to provide emergency relief in six European countries, including Ukraine.
Convoy of Hope sent another team of relief workers from its global headquarters to assist teams and partners already in Europe. Though inventory from many Polish companies is starting to run low as the influx of refugees weighs on the nation’s supply chain, Convoy of Hope’s partners and supporters have created new opportunities to help those currently in need.
Two truckloads of relief supplies were loaded at Convoy of Hope’s World Distribution Center on Friday morning. Virgin Atlantic and Airlink, a nonprofit partnering with Convoy for this crisis response, donated their services to provide transportation of 60 pallets of relief supplies, which will arrive in Europe to support refugees.
“The stories that Ukrainians are telling when they come over the border are getting increasingly worse every day,” said Chris Dudley of Convoy’s Disaster Services team. “The other night, over 20,000 people came through one border crossing alone during the overnight hours. A lot of people have the ‘thousand-yard stare’ when they come across the border into Poland. This war will have an impact on the Ukrainian people for generations.”
Residents of Ivano-Frankivsk, a city near Ukraine’s westernmost border, received orders to stay in air raid shelters on Friday. Meanwhile, officials worked to establish 12 new humanitarian corridors to allow additional refugees safe passage out of war zones and into other countries.
“We are dealing with the greatest migration crisis in the history of Europe since World War II,” Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski of Warsaw told The Associated Press. “The situation is getting more and more difficult every day.”
Warsaw’s mayor sent out an appeal for international help as more and more refugees pour into Poland’s capital. More than a tenth of all Ukrainians who fled their country are now in Warsaw.
Temperatures in Ukraine dipped into the single digits, causing even more concern for those currently without shelter, electricity, and basic necessities. Those huddling together in subway stations and other makeshift shelters are now beginning to worry about the spread of COVID-19 as well.
“I know of people who have tested positive since spending nights in the bomb shelters and on packed trains,” one relief worker said. “It’s not as big of a concern as a bomb or missile, but an added concern for sure.”
More than 2.5 million refugees have now fled Ukraine. More than 1.5 million of them are in Poland. The majority are women and children.
Thank you for partnering with Convoy to provide relief and hope to those who desperately need it.
March 11, 2022 | 6 p.m.
Irina is dressed in all pink — pink hat, coat, scarf, pants, and boots. She stands out from the many Ukrainian refugees, most of whom are bundled tight in shades of black and gray.
“The thing you feel for the first three days [after leaving] is relief. You don’t hear bombing. Your child is safe,” said Irina as she spoke with a Convoy of Hope team member. “But then it passes and sadness comes. Such sadness that you understand [your old] life will never return.”
Just days before, Irina worked in the import and export business. With tears in her eyes, she is unsure of what to expect from life in Poland. “You fall asleep with these thoughts and wake up. You do not know how to continue living.”
Irina is separated from her family — her husband required by the Ukrainian government to stay and fight near the border with Belarus. The two of them talk every 2 to 3 hours to make sure they and their children are alive.
When asked about her pink outfit, Irina’s answer was surprising. “Yesterday, when I looked at everyone, they were in black. My whole life I [have] hated pink. My whole life. My daughter was never dressed in pink. Never. [Now] it is my desire — the desire to be happy and [not] give up.”
Irina hates pink, but she chose to wear her resilience with color. Her face is determined. She radiates the kind of hope that only comes to the surface under horrific circumstances.
“Belief is a feeling that God will never forsake me and my country. I have to believe in this. I have no other choice,” said Irina.
March 10, 2022 | 3 p.m.
More than 2.3 million refugees have fled Ukraine in the past two weeks. Many others have not had the opportunity to leave the country safely, and are now facing shortages of food, water, and other necessities. Convoy of Hope’s team members and partners across Europe continue to meet needs.
“In June, my youngest daughter is getting married,” a Ukrainian pastor told Convoy. Although the war separated him from his family, he still hopes for a time when they will be reunited to celebrate his daughter’s wedding. He recently sent his family off to a neighboring country, while he stayed behind to help.
“When I said goodbye, my wife leaned back against me like she has so many times before,” he said. “I was not ready for the question when she whispered softly, ‘Will this be forever?’ I smiled consolingly at her, but my soul burst into tears.”
Of the refugees currently taking shelter in Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia, and other adjacent countries, most are women and children. Many Ukrainian men have stayed to fight or assist in other ways.
“My service to God and people continues, even though they are now under the conditions of war,” the pastor said. “Remember us in your prayers!”
In Mariupol, Ukraine, residents have been without power, heat, or reliable access to other necessities for days. Many resorted to melting snow for drinking water and burning trees for warmth.
Temporary cease-fires in 10 Ukrainian cities were supposed to allow for humanitarian corridors for civilians to escape war zones throughout the country. They were intended to last 12 hours each; however, according to The Kyiv Independent, only three of the corridors were confirmed to be operational, and many remained too dangerous for civilian use. Nonetheless, more than 35,000 Ukrainians escaped, adding to the steadily growing number of displaced individuals.
Despite ever-changing threats and circumstances, Convoy of Hope and partners across Europe have been working together to consistently identify the best routes for the continued delivery of relief supplies. Local vendors have also assisted Convoy’s in-country partners and team members while response teams locally purchase supplies for distribution.
“In partnership with Convoy of Hope, many of the churches have been able to respond to this refugee crisis,” said Igor, a Convoy of Hope partner in Moldova.
Thank you for supporting displaced Ukrainians in this time of desperate need.
March 9, 2022 | 4:40 p.m.
With ever-changing cease-fire agreements, escape is dangerous for Ukrainian civilians hoping to safely move into nearby countries. This instability adds to the stress and pressure of an already tense and terrifying situation.
Two weeks after the Russian invasion, basic necessities in Ukraine are in short supply. Food, water, shelter, hygiene items, and electricity are scarce. Pictures from Convoy’s partners in the field show bare shelves at grocery stores.
But some are finding hope.
“We are safe, we are warm, and I am so grateful to God that volunteers dedicate their time and open their hearts. It’s wonderful,” said Valia, a woman who escaped to Poland with her 1-year-old grandson.
Convoy of Hope is helping people like Valia by supplying them with desperately needed essentials, such as food, water, shelter, and hygiene items. The organization is serving refugees in six nearby countries. More than half of the 2 million people who have already fled have gone to Poland, where Convoy is making great progress in finding ways to serve people through local churches and partners.
Your generosity has allowed Convoy to lease a warehouse, where team members are stockpiling supplies for those who come through.
“Here, the volunteers are helping us and love us. Tomorrow, we have transportation to go to Warsaw. We are going to stay with a gentleman who helped me with a job on an apple farm,” Valia explained. “We’re not planning to stay in Poland long term. We’re planning to stay until Russia leaves Ukraine. Then we will return, the next second.”
For Valia and every other Ukrainian refugee, that day can’t come soon enough. Until then, thank you for your continued support. You are helping Convoy help others.
To support this response and others like it, click here.
March 8, 2022 | 10 a.m.
Yesterday, as Convoy of Hope loaded relief supplies onto a truck bound for Ukraine, dozens of people pitched in to clean and repair the recently acquired warehouse in preparation for a full-scale response. The team working? Refugees from Ukraine.
Eager to find a way to support those still in harm’s way, the hard-working crew of mostly women joined in the effort to provide relief for fellow Ukrainians. Today, the warehouse is ready to be filled with food, water, and relief supplies that will serve refugees in Poland and Ukraine.
For many of these women and young men, the feeling of helplessness loomed large in their minds. Their husbands, fathers, and grandparents were unable to leave, stayed to fight, or could not make the journey.
As the day progressed, the group was bursting with renewed hope and a drive to serve people still in Ukraine. Through local partners, Convoy of Hope was able to compensate the team of incredible individuals, as many left home with nothing more than what they could carry.
The night finished with pizza and hugs as one Convoy of Hope team member spoke to the group, expressing compassion for the people of Ukraine from Convoy’s donors, partners, and supporters.
Snow began to fall in waves as the team of Ukrainians made their way back to the place they were staying. The spirit of cooperation and resilience was evident, and the concern for those still braving the cold, harsh winter nights came in equal measure.
Thank you for standing with Convoy of Hope as we serve the people of Ukraine together.
March 7, 2022 | 12:10 p.m.
Nearly two weeks into the conflict, tensions in Ukraine continue escalating. The bitter cold is only adding to the mounting pressure felt by all Ukrainians, especially those with young children and little to no adequate shelter.
As of Monday, Russia’s military was considering a cease-fire, though residents report that many residential areas continue to be battered with rocket attacks. Two previous negotiations between Russia and Ukrainian leaders proved fruitless.
Already, more than 1.7 million Ukrainians have chosen to cross into bordering countries, mostly into Poland, where Convoy of Hope has set up operations. More refugees are expected in the coming days and weeks. Constant changes to cease-fire agreements and the bombing of residential areas have made fleeing even more dangerous for Ukrainians.
Convoy of Hope’s team members and partners across Europe are busy meeting the most basic needs with food, water, hygiene kits, and more. Convoy has also secured warehouses through existing partnerships across Eastern Europe and is serving refugees in six nearby countries.
Much of Convoy’s distribution is done through local churches and humanitarian organizations on the ground. Churches and community centers are moving out pews and other furniture to replace them with mattresses, blankets, kettles of soup, and anything else that might make the bitterly cold and restless nights a little more bearable.
“It’s scary because the shooting, all of the air raid sirens, psychologically it’s very hard to comprehend,” said Valia, one of the refugees Convoy was able to help. She spoke with Convoy while holding her baby grandson on her lap. “The kids are afraid and they start to scream and cry because they don’t know what’s happening.”
It’s tough for most adults to comprehend how quickly their lives were up-ended. But those who have been served hot meals received more than food — they received hope in a hopeless situation.
“A lot of volunteers are helping us,” Valia continued. “Volunteers helped us to get to the Ukrainian-Polish border. And from that, we are just glad that we can be here and volunteers are helping us. We can stay here, and it’s peaceful and quiet. We just want the war to stop. We want peace to live quiet lives,” she said.
Convoy of Hope is bringing life-sustaining resources because of your generosity. It is making a difference in countless lives of refugees. Convoy could not do it without you and is committed to providing relief to refugees as the difficulty continues.
Thank you for partnering with Convoy of Hope in these desperate times. To support this response and others like it, click here.
March 6, 2022 | 7 p.m.
Twenty-four hours a day, the line of Ukrainian refugees at the Polish border town of Medyka stretches as far as the eye can see. Tired, hungry, and scared, people are fleeing for their lives.
Ukrainians, volunteers, and Convoy of Hope staff talk in measured sentences. No one is shoving. Without warning, people turn their faces to the ground, sky, or away from one another to weep. Comfort is offered between close friends and families. So many tears have been shed recently that the coming and going of emotions is part of existing now.
On Sunday, Convoy of Hope partnered with a local Polish organization to provide 9,000 meals to refugees who recently took their first steps of safety into Poland.
Convoy’s Christian Rodriguez offered a warm smile as he passed out chocolate candies to kids in line. “You do see hardship. You do see trouble in their eyes,” he said. “But you also see hope as they come through. Getting that meal in them and seeing their kids get taken care of … they have hope.”
Katia from Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine — the city where Russian soldiers recently took over a nuclear power plant — fed her 2-year-old son Gabriel small sips of hot soup that billowed with steam in the cold. Nearby, Katia’s mother fed her grandmother. Four generations of Katia’s family escaped danger today. They simultaneously breathed a sigh of relief and mourned those they left behind. Someone will come to pick up Katia and her family soon to take them on the next step of their journey.
Amidst the sound of rolling suitcases and bus engines, thousands of refugees edged toward the front of the line. Each one took them a little farther from their home and a little closer to safety. Along the way, kind and generous Polish people, along with organizations like Convoy of Hope, are offering food, diapers, clothes, stuffed animals, and hugs. Hospitality and compassion are abundant, and Ukrainians can use as much as the world can spare.
March 5, 2022 | 5:30 p.m.
Convoy of Hope’s response to the crisis in Ukraine continues. Along with our partners throughout Eastern Europe, Convoy of Hope is doing everything it can to help those who are in desperate need.
Thank you for supporting this response. You are helping serve some of the world’s most vulnerable people right now.
Convoy of Hope’s team members and partners across Europe are busy resourcing, transporting, and distributing much-needed supplies — including food, water, hygiene items, and other essentials — to refugees across the region. Multiple partners have also facilitated shelter for people in need of a safe, warm place to stay.
“We heard the first bombing when we were at work,” Valia said, through a translator, while she held her 1-year-old grandson, Artem. “At that moment, everybody stopped working and we were rushing home. Every hour we heard air raid sirens. We could hear the planes flying over our houses.”
Valia fled Ukraine with her grandson, whom she held tightly while speaking with a team member. Her mother, father, sister, and other family members stayed behind. Her sister is a nurse and has spent the past several days taking care of wounded Ukrainians. Valia calls family members every morning just to hear their voices and make sure they are still alive.
“It’s hard for people to decide if they should stay,” she said. “At this moment, I’m not really afraid for my life, but I’m afraid for my grandson’s life. … It’s very hard for him.”
After hurriedly packing the basics and leaving for the Polish-Ukrainian border, Valia said that she was relieved to see people willing to help refugees. “We are safe, we are warm, and I am so grateful to God that volunteers dedicate their time and open their hearts. It’s wonderful,” she said.
More than 1.2 million refugees — primarily women and children — join Valia in similarly heartbreaking situations. Refugees have left family members behind. Children are exhausted and confused. Parents have attempted to veil their dismay and comfort their children.
“People start crying spontaneously,” one of Convoy’s team members in Poland said. “Everyone is staying strong, but the stress and sorrow break through in unexpected moments.”
Bombings intensified as the first week of the war came to a close. Russian military forces seized Europe’s largest nuclear power plant. Many Ukrainians attempting to escape the constant threat of violence squeezed into crowded trains, without checking to see where the train was headed.
Convoy of Hope is providing relief in multiple countries across Eastern Europe as this crisis continues. Thank you for partnering with Convoy to help Ukrainians in need. To support this response and others like it, click here.
March 3, 2022 | 3:50 p.m.
A team from Convoy of Hope’s headquarters, now in Warsaw, Poland, is currently working to provide help for displaced Ukrainians. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than half of all Ukrainians recently displaced have traveled to Poland for safety.
Photos from central Warsaw show thousands of refugees huddled in train and bus stations. Many others ventured out into the cold to look for shelter, food, and other resources. Here are a few photos from our team in the field.
Thanks to your support, Convoy will continue providing hope to Ukrainian refugees. To support this response and others like it, click here.
March 3, 2022 | 11 a.m.
A response team from Convoy of Hope’s global headquarters is now on the ground in Poland. Within minutes of arriving, the team witnessed thousands of refugees — primarily women and children — dragging luggage and seeking shelter. Simple needs, such as electricity for charging phones and the ability to stay warm are incredibly difficult to find. Many children seem dazed.
More than a million people have fled Ukraine since the war began just seven days ago. At least half have settled in Poland, while others have taken shelter in countries like Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, and Moldova. Convoy of Hope is providing emergency relief with the help of partners in multiple European countries.
“I have worked in refugee emergencies for almost 40 years, and rarely have I seen an exodus as rapid as this one,” Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said in a statement earlier today. “Hour by hour, minute by minute, more people are fleeing the terrifying reality of violence. Countless [others] have been displaced inside the country. Unless there is an immediate end to the conflict, millions more are likely to be forced to flee Ukraine.”
“At this rate, the situation is set to become Europe’s largest refugee crisis this century,” UNHCR spokesperson Shabia Mantoo told The Kyiv Independent.
Military clashes and bombing runs have continued throughout Ukraine, causing widespread damage and forcing many to create makeshift camps in subway tunnels. Each day, more displaced Ukrainians pack up what belongings they can carry and flee to bordering countries.
The Russian military has begun to target strategic ports in Ukraine. Phone service and electricity have become scarce in the port city of Mariupol, where the lack of connectivity complicates medical relief efforts for Ukraine’s emergency response organizations.
Many areas are facing food and water shortages, forcing even more Ukrainians to seek shelter and basic essentials across national borders.
Each day, as more refugees are uprooted and forced to rely on the kindness of others for safety and necessities, Convoy of Hope continues providing hope and emergency relief.
To support this response and others like it, click here.
March 2, 2022 | 4:30 p.m.
According to Ukraine’s State Emergency Service, more than 2,000 civilians have been killed since the war began less than a week ago. Meanwhile, more than 874,000 Ukrainian refugees are seeking shelter in neighboring countries. Convoy of Hope is on the ground in Europe, helping refugees in need of relief.
“Nobody ever prepares you for something like this,” one woman said as Ukranians passed by in search of safety.
Missiles and cluster bombs continued to fall on Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, overnight and Wednesday morning. Photos from the scene showed buildings reduced to rubble, roads entirely unusable, and bridges demolished.
“I’m being cautious where I’m placing my hope right now,” said a Ukrainian relief worker. “I have hope, but I also know that it’s likely that this is going to get worse before it gets better.”
Ukrainian refugees continue fleeing to neighboring countries, including Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland. Ukraine and Poland opened two new border crossings in an attempt to mitigate the incredibly long lines and massive huddles of asylum seekers waiting their turn to flee the violence. Many escaping to other countries do so on foot, with whatever belongings they hurriedly gathered before making their way west. After leaving Ukraine, most rely on the kindness of others for shelter and basic necessities.
The Kyiv Independent reported that approximately 80,000 Ukrainians have already returned to the country to assist in the fight.
Convoy of Hope’s global network of partners and team members have made a quick and effective response possible. Partners across Europe have helped facilitate a rapid response while Convoy’s team members are en route to Poland. Convoy of Hope continues working to provide shelter, food, water, hygiene items, and other necessities to Ukrainians in need.
Thank you for supporting refugees in this time of crisis. To support this response and others like it, click here.
Margaryta is one of more than 500,000 Ukrainian refugees now displaced as a result of the war with Russia. Convoy of Hope is hard at work providing emergency relief for refugees — like Margaryta — who are in desperate need.
Tears ran down Margaryta’s face as she entered a Polish refugee camp. Her journey to the border took a grueling 28 hours. She and her mother evaded would-be bandits on multiple occasions. Eventually, they had to abandon their vehicle and travel 200 miles on foot.
Further east, Russia attacked Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv. More than 1.5 million Ukrainians called Kharkiv home before the bombings began; now, many are displaced.
“It’s a nightmare, and it seizes you from the inside very strongly,” Ekaterina Babenko, a resident of Kharkiv, told the Associated Press. Ekaterina and her neighbors had been sheltering in her basement for five consecutive days. “We have small children, elderly people — and frankly speaking — it is very frightening.”
Air raid sirens blared across Ukraine as the bombings continued. Many waiting to cross the border into countries like Poland and Moldova refused to take shelter to avoid losing their place in line. Across the border in Poland, officials tested their country’s air raid sirens.
Convoy of Hope’s partners across Europe and supporters around the world have made Convoy’s timely and effective response possible. Team members and partners are continuing to facilitate transportation and storage of relief supplies and distribution of vital necessities like food, water, and hygiene items. Members of Convoy’s Disaster Services team are traveling to Poland to work with local partners and reach people in need.
Thanks to your support, Convoy is providing hope to Ukrainian refugees. To support this response and others like it, click here.
February 28, 2022 | 4:10 p.m.
More than 500,000 Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries after war broke out less than a week ago, according to the United Nations. An additional 350 civilians have died in Ukraine as a result of the conflict. As the war continues displacing individuals across the country, Convoy of Hope is hard at work providing emergency relief.
“It’s bad. I’m not going to sugar coat it,” said Allina Robie, a resident of western Ukraine. Since the war began, Allina has watched Ukrainians migrate through her city, toward bordering nations like Poland and Moldova. “It is a mess. There are more people moving this direction than we have room for at the moment.”
Many fleeing from Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, have traveled five days to reach the border. Under normal circumstances, the trip would take less than one day. However, traffic jams, fuel shortages, and damage to roads have made the journey out of the war zone much more difficult.
“They are tired. They have been on the road for a lot of days,” Allina explained. “Our roads are destroyed, fuel is in short supply, they are limiting the amount of fuel you can get, and traffic is insane on the roads that are drivable.”
When they reach the border, many Ukrainian refugees have little more than a suitcase of personal belongings, a makeshift shelter, and the kindness of others to sustain them. Churches, cafes, and subway stations have served as temporary shelters for people in need of a place to stay.
Despite the tension across Europe, many have made it their mission to provide hope. Individuals and families further from the war zone and in neighboring countries have given rooms in their homes, groceries, and any time they could spare to help refugees as they arrived.
Through partners across Europe, Convoy of Hope is providing shelter, food, water, hygiene kits, and other necessities to displaced Ukrainians.
“We are in contact with the church leaders where Convoy of Hope has programs,” said Igor Margarint, a Convoy of Hope partner in Moldova. “We are also in contact with our friends that are now working among the refugees. One of our friends said that there are so many people open to help that it almost seems like nobody is at work in the country.”
Allina hopes that the current dynamic serves as an example for the rest of the world as they watch the events unfold. “I hope that is resonating with the rest of the world,” she said. “I hope the rest of the world is inspired.”
As refugees continue their search for shelter and safety, Convoy will continue providing relief. To support this response and others like it, click here.
February 26, 2022 | 5:15 p.m.
“Something I’ve learned about war: the nights are by far the hardest and scariest,” said Allina Robie, a resident of Ukraine.
Clashes between Ukrainian and Russian forces continued Friday night into Saturday morning. Convoy of Hope’s staff and partners are hard at work, providing emergency relief for people in need of relief.
“I don’t want to die,” a young girl named Vlada said. She stood in Mariupol, near Ukraine’s border with Russia, as she spoke with reporters from the Associated Press. “I want all of this to end as soon as possible.”
According to Ukraine’s health minister, the war’s casualty count had surpassed 1,000 by Saturday morning. The number of refugees fleeing for Moldova, Poland, and other neighboring nations has quickly exceeded 120,000. Humanitarian organizations around the world are bracing for an even greater influx of refugees and internally displaced people as the war uproots Ukrainians looking for safety and shelter.
“The humanitarian consequences on civilian populations will be devastating,” said Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
“The situation is absolutely heartbreaking,” said U.N. representative Ronald Schilling, while standing at the border between Ukraine and Moldova. “Thousands and thousands of refugees have entered Moldova in the last 36 hours.”
As the war with Russia displaces Ukrainians in need of help, Convoy of Hope will continue providing shelter, food, water, and other necessities. Thank you for partnering with Convoy to restore hope to those in desperate need.
To support this response and others like it, click here.
February 25, 2022 | 1:50 p.m.
While Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, Convoy of Hope is working with partners in the region to provide emergency relief.
Violence continued throughout Ukraine as the war entered its second day. Russia has deployed airstrikes, missiles, tanks, infantry, and cyber attacks in its offensive. Ukraine declared martial law and ordered all able-bodied males between the ages of 18 and 60 to stay, even as their families sought shelter elsewhere. Casualty counts have continued to climb.
ATMs quickly ran out of cash, lines formed outside of grocery stores and gas stations, and traffic jams blocked city streets as Ukrainians fled in search of safety.
“It was devastating to watch it all unfold,” said Allina Robie. Allina stayed awake in her apartment in western Ukraine while the war began around her. “Most people slept without even knowing how our world was changing.”
Allina decided to stay and help orphans and other displaced people as the war progresses. “I will never forget the feeling of fear, anger, and sadness I felt as the first reports started coming in. I knew almost immediately that I wouldn’t leave though,” she said.
Many, however, have taken a different stance, seeking safety far away from the places they recently called home. Officials from the United Nations reported that at least 100,000 individuals have fled their homes, and millions more may do likewise as the fighting continues.
Through local partners, Convoy of Hope is working to provide shelter and necessities such as water, food, and hygiene items for refugees fleeing Ukraine. Thank you for sharing hope by standing with people who need it most.
To support this response and others like it, click here.
February 24, 2022 | 9:40 a.m.
Convoy of Hope is actively reaching out to local partners to find ways to help Ukrainians amidst attacks from Russia.
Early Thursday morning, Russia declared war on Ukraine. Soldiers and tanks crossed over Ukraine’s border while airstrikes and other explosives hit targets in several major cities, including Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv.
“We woke up in a different world today,” German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock told reporters after the attack began.
The White House released a statement describing the situation as an “unprovoked and unjustified attack … [which] will bring a catastrophic loss of life and human suffering.”
Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs has already reported hundreds of fatalities, just hours after the initial declaration. Early strikes targeted airports and Ukraine’s military bases. Residents woke up to air raid sirens in multiple cities, including Kyiv.
Through partnership across Europe, Convoy of Hope has worked diligently in Ukraine since 2014, alleviating suffering in and around the nation.
Convoy’s International Disaster Services team is actively trying to make contact with partners in affected areas. Please keep Ukraine in your prayers and continue to stand with Ukrainians who are suffering.
The war in #Ukraine is scaring for adults … for children, the traumas of living in a wartorn country can derail their entire lives. Watch how these brave #volunteers stepped in to keep children safe and how Convoy of Hope was part of the solution: http://h.ope.is/3hgTLpH 👉