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ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. — With more than 10 million people having fled their homes in Ukraine, a group of rabbis felt compelled to help the refugees in person. Central Florida Rabbi Steven Engel from the Congregation of Reform Judaism in Winter Park recently travelled to Poland alongside other 30 rabbis from across the globe, bringing much-needed humanitarian aid and donations.
“Each rabbi selected what items they wanted to bring, and I decided to bring what would be perhaps the most difficult item, prescription medication. So, I started to call around town to find someone who could donate the critical needed medication.,” Engel said. “I contacted AdventHealth and got in touch with Global Missions and they said ’Yes, we are here for you.’ ”
AdventHealth Global Missions donated the crucial medication including antibiotics, depression medication, diabetic medicine, vitamins and children’s medication.
“We have the opportunity to extend our mission of extending the healing ministry of Christ throughout the world -- not only providing a sense of medical well-being but also spiritual well-being,” said Andrea Ward, Global Missions program manager. “It has been a great opportunity for AdventHealth to partner with local organizations who are providing humanitarian support for Ukraine and its refugees.”
The Missions team is also working collaboratively with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) on the ground at Ukrainian border crossings in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Moldova to provide refugees with critically needed supplies.
Engel’s group delivered the much-needed medical supplies and other aid to the Jewish Community Center on the Ukraine-Poland border. The medication was distributed by doctors and psychiatrists in Poland.
He saw firsthand the tremendous human suffering and incredible need.
“It was heartbreaking to see the pain of women and children in their eyes. They arrived at the welcome center with only one suitcase. Hungry, tired, sad,” he said.
Once the refugees step across the border into Poland, they meet with different organizations that provide help with housing information, medical consultation on the spot, a sim card and phone charger. After the initial consultation, they are taken on a bus to a nearby mall where there’s food, child-care services and more.
In addition to the humanitarian aid delivered by the group, they also handed off more than a half-million dollars in direct aid and were able to provide counseling to refugees.
“Our work continues; there is still a need,” Engel said. “I plan to go back and continue to help the people of Ukraine and bring hope.”
To learn more about AdventHealth’s relief efforts, please visit AdventHealth.com/UkraineRelief.