Supporting Ukraine: Rotary thanks donors to refugee fund; Neighbors for Peace statement

Southborough’s Neighbors for Peace asked me to share a statement with readers about the war in Ukraine. It invites others to join them in offering support for those impacted. It reminded me that I neglected to share a prior on-topic message from the Rotary Club of Southborough.

The Rotary held a successful fundraising drive to support Ukrainian refugees. They asked me to share their thanks along with the news that you can still support the cause. Both messages are below:

Rotary thanks public for Ukrainian Refugee Donations

Rotary Club of SouthboroughThe Rotary Club of Southborough would like to thank the members of our community for their generous support during our recent campaign to help the recent refugees from Ukraine. During the last few weeks, we received $4,750.00 in donations for this purpose. These donations will be sent directly to Rotary International’s Disaster Relief fund.

As one of the world’s largest humanitarian organizations, Rotary has always made peace the cornerstone of its global mission. We are deeply concerned about the Ukraine crisis and appreciate your help.

Our local Rotary District 7910 has a special relationship with Rotarians in Ukraine. Members from the Shrewsbury club, with support from five other clubs and districts in the United States, Canada, and Scotland, were instrumental in establishing the first Rotary clubs in Kyiv.

Rotary is made up of people of action – especially in difficult times. In response to the deepening refugee crisis, the trustees of The Rotary Foundation have prioritized contributions made to Rotary’s Disaster Response Fund to provide disaster-response grants for districts affected by the crisis in Ukraine. All of the funds collected here in Southborough are being channeled to this relief fund.

To the many who told us they have contributed using other means, we would also like to extend a heartfelt thank you.

There is still time to help. Rotary International has designated all funds given to its Disaster Relief Fund by April 30th will be used for helping the people of Ukraine. You can still make a difference and a tax deductible donation at:

Again Thank You.

Statement from Neighbors for Peace on the War in Ukraine

Southborough Neighbors for PeaceThese past many weeks we’ve watched in disbelief and horror as the Russian government has invaded Ukraine based on false pretenses. While the propaganda from the autocrats in Russia claimed they sought to root out Neo-Nazis who were engaging in genocide, the people of Ukraine and their leaders—including a president who is Jewish and lost family in the Holocaust—sought only to maintain their democracy and freedoms. It has become clear as well that factions of the Russian people stand in opposition to this war, including Russian soldiers who’ve made statements against the attacks or had messages to family members expressing their frustrations intercepted.

We continue to stand for peace and remain committed to the end of violence in our world. We also acknowledge that there has been implicit bias on display in the reporting of this war in Europe when compared to other places of conflict—like the one currently happening in Yemen with significant loss of life, or the way reports happened in Syria during that conflict in past years. These comments reinforce how we as a society view people of color as being “less civilized” than those who are caucasian, and these words negatively impact all of us.
Southborough’s Neighbors for Peace stands in solidarity with all who seek to embrace a spirit of peace in the face of conflict. We offer our thoughts, good intentions and prayers for an end to all fighting and the needless loss of life across our globe, and we commit to offering support for those impacted, inviting others to join us. We trust in the words of Maya Angelou who implores us to recognize that we in the human family “are more alike than we are unlike.” While these actions and words may seem small in light of such grave atrocities, we know that each act of kindness and grace can change our world for the better.

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