Little known fact about Mason: he speaks Russian.
About ten years ago, he lived for two years in the Baltic states (Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia) serving a mission with our church.
I bring this up because I want to make it clear that Russian people are not bad. Russians are not villains. Mason came to love the Russians he got to know and see some of the beautiful things about them and their culture.
I repeat: Russian does not mean bad.
That being said, what is happening in Ukraine is not okay.
Bombing hospitals is not okay.
Women and children needing to leave husbands, grandfathers, sons, and grandmothers behind so that they can flee to safety is not okay.
Tiny countries getting overrun with refugees that have nowhere else to go is not okay.
Uncles and cousins needing to be buried in mass unmarked graves because they can’t keep up with the bodies is not okay.
I realize that this conflict is not the first and nor will it likely be the last, but losing my son has finally given me some context for this trauma and grief that Ukraine is suffering. I am finally ready to do something.
What I have to offer is a pittance compared to the needs that are out there. Mason just started a new job and we bought a house, so our savings are exhausted.
But I do have some art skills and a website. I know of a charity that I admire and would like to support.
This past week, I designed a t-shirt. I wanted to have and give a way to show my support for Ukraine, and I also wanted a way to help Ukrainian refugees. I’ve ordered my own and I’m donating all profits from these shirts to Lifting Hands International, a charity dedicated to helping refugees around the world, including Ukraine.
I don’t know what you have to give, and I get that maybe all you can give right now is your prayers for peace. I urge you to find something you can give or do. I love this quote by Horace Mann:
If it fits with what you want to do, I would love it if you considered buying one of our shirts. I admit that a portion of it will go to the company that produces and ships them, but I promise that I will donate whatever is left over. If you are looking for a place to donate, I encourage you to check out Lifting Hands International. They are doing really cool things!
Thank you for reading this post. I hope you find your way of standing with Ukraine.