Millions of Ukrainians could face life-threatening conditions this winter—but not just from bombs or missiles. At least 50 percent of the power sources have been destroyed, along with gas and water supplies. Many people nearly panic as the weather in Ukraine gets colder and they have little to no means of staying warm. Last week the country had its first snowfall and Ukrainians know this is only the beginning. With an average temperature of around 27° and occasional subzero temperatures, many people dread a long winter ahead.
“It’s almost overwhelming,” said a staff member who witnesses some of the huge needs. Each week tons of relief are loaded onto trucks and delivered throughout the country. One of the main things we distribute right now is firewood, which is scarce. Ukrainians need a permit to cut trees because forests are managed by the government, even if they are on personal property. Desperate people are collecting sticks, leaves, and other matter to burn before the cold set in. But these only last so long and don’t generate a lot of heat.
CAM works with a Ukrainian who has a permit to cut firewood. He provides firewood that we deliver directly to the homes of people in desperate need. In some cases, CAM supplies woodstoves for people who don’t have the means to burn firewood. We also just started providing generators to churches so people without electricity at least have a place to warm up and heat food. Coats and blankets are other ways CAM attempts to help people withstand the cold.
Natalia received blankets from CAM and said, “Thank you so much! . . . My eyes are tearing up with gratitude!” Her family lost everything in the war and is staying with relatives who have no gas or electricity. “It got cold to sleep on the floor,” she said.
Along with Natalia we say “thank you” for your ongoing support that is touching many lives. Ukraine entered its tenth month of war, and a little care and support means a lot to the people who have suffered so much.
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