Generous response to ‘Buncrana for Ukraine’ donation drive

The organisers of an Inishowen collection for the people of Ukraine have hailed the generosity of local people, who have donated goods in their droves.

Natalia Baburova, Patrycta Radwanska, Kasia Wojtach and Dorota Nieznanska at the donation centre.
Natalia Baburova, Patrycta Radwanska, Kasia Wojtach and Dorota Nieznanska at the donation centre.

Patrycta Radwanska, Kasia Wojtach and Dorota Nieznanska, who are originally from Poland and Natalia Baburova, who is originally from Ukraine, set up the donation drive in the ‘Your Delicatessen’ Polish shop at Milltown Business Park in Buncrana.

They also set up a Facebook page called ‘Buncrana for Ukraine’ to share information on the donations and the items needed.

In just two weeks they have received hundreds of donations, some of which have already made their way to those who need them.

Speaking to the Journal, Kasia said they have been ‘absolutely overwhelmed’ by people’s generosity.

“We have had a fantastic response. People have been calling in with many donations and others have been ringing us, asking how they can help or what do we need. One lady came in with beautiful crochet items. Everyone has been so generous and people just want to help. We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone.”

Kasia highlighted how the people of Poland and Ukraine have always had a deep connection .

This has only strengthened in recent weeks as hundreds of thousands of people flee to Poland to escape the war. Many leave with nothing and this is why donations of goods and money are so vital.

The first batch of goods donated have already made their way to help those in need. Kasia explained how the owner of the shop, ‘Tristan,’ has been ‘extremely kind’ and drove the donations to Donegal Town, where transport was waiting.

The second batch of items was collected at the donation drive by Cockhill GAA on Saturday and will be delivered shortly. The final donations will again be transported to Donegal Town, with March 16 the final day they can be collected at the Polish Shop.

Kasia also works in Inishowen Development Partnership in Carndonagh and said people in the town -as well as many other areas across Inishowen - have contacted her there to also donate. While the donations are coming in thick and fast, Dorota said some of the key items needed are baby food and bottles, dry food that can be easily prepared, animal food and medicines that can be bought over the counter.

The donation drive has been emotional for Natalia, whose immediate and extended family are still in Ukraine. Her parents do not want to leave and her siblings cannot.

She said she is very heartened by the donations, as well as the ‘moral’ support she and the people of Ukraine have received.