By Cristina Mendez
OWINGS MILLS, Maryland (WJZ) — A Baltimore County couple flew to Poland on a mission trip to help Ukrainian refugees.
Through the Jewish Federations of North America umbrella, Mark and Robin Neumann and about two dozen other volunteers gave out supplies and heard harrowing escape stories at one of the border points.
“They were, understandably, emotional wrecks for the most part,” Mark said.
The mission of the trip was to show solidarity with those who fled their homes and distribute immediate aid. This came in the form of clothing, food, water, and hygiene products among other things.
One of the many families the Neumanns met was a single mother, her 15-year-old daughter, and their dog.
“Their dog sensed the bombing before they heard it,” Robin said. “So they took their dog and took their suitcase and they ran in the street and were looking for shelters.”
Tatiana, the mother, and her teen daughter, Sophia, reported that many of the shelters had not been used in a very long time. Many were found locked up.
“They ended up breaking a lock and going into a shelter,” Robin said. “There were 120 people in a very narrow hallway shelter with some rooms but no working electricity or bathrooms, and they stayed there for three days.”
Eventually, the family along with others made their way to one of nine border entry points in Poland, the Neumanns explained.
Humanitarian volunteers from different organizations met with the refugees. The volunteers were all on the same mission: to help and to give hope.
“It’s the other side that you don’t really see from the photos of the bombings and the people crossing the border,” Mark said. “It’s the other side that we saw, which was the incredible humanity of people joining sort of a worldwide community in trying to help.”
The Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore is in talks about what may be next to continue helping those in desperate need.
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