Ukrainian woman partners with Gleaning for the World to collect supplies for refugees

They’re collecting again March 25 from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at Sam’s Club on Wards Road in Lynchburg

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Donations are helping heart-breaking stories like Irena Reed’s, a Ukrainian American worried about loved ones back home.

“We cannot sleep, we cannot eat. Our life completely has changed,” said Reed.

Reed’s brother and his fiancé in Ukraine went from being future newlyweds -- to newly fleds. The couple left their destroyed home to sleep in a bomb shelter.

Reed says her family’s doing everything they can to survive, even melting snow for bathing and drinking.

“I go to bed really late because I want to wait until morning, Ukrainian time, to talk to everybody and to make sure that they’re safe in their life,” said Reed.

Reed attends a North Carolina Ukrainian Baptist Church, and they’re partnering with Gleaning for the World to collect essential items and ship overseas.

The nonprofit already hosted one donation drive this month and delivered 12 tons of supplies, but they want to continue.

“Hearing the stories of [Reed’s] family and friends that are first-hand experiencing this crisis overseas, it really has been extremely eye-opening,” said Teresa Davis, spokesperson for Gleaning for the World.

Karen Hearn donated supplies Thursday and said it was her fifth drop-off.

“Every time I watch the news, my heart grows heavier, and tears start to flow,” said Hearn.

She says her friends in Poland are helping Ukrainian refugees.

“If I can help them in some way, I’m going to do it,” said Hearn.

They’ll be collecting again Friday, March 25 from 10 a.m to 6 p.m. at Sam’s Club on Wards Road in Lynchburg.

They really need medical supplies, hygiene products and new sleeping bags and blankets. And every little donation makes a difference for these types of stories.

“On behalf of myself, on behalf of all Ukrainian people, thank you so much,” said Reed.

Click here to see the full list of needed items or make a monetary donation.

About the Author:

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.