The dreadful plight of hundreds of Ukrainian refugees has been made a little easier thanks to the generosity of 7NEWS.com.au readers.
A volunteer group in the city of Odessa is striving to raise funds desperately needed to give aid to 200 people who flood their doorstep each day.
Many have lost everything they own, as Russian missiles continue to rain down destroying their homes, belongings, and often their loved ones and their hopes for a brighter future.
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During Ukraine’s Independence Day last week, more missile attacks were endured.
Even a hospital was hit – an act described as “a war crime.”
A hospital hit by Russian rocket fire in the city of Odessa. Credit: 7NEWS
After we brought you their story of hardship a fortnight ago, thousands of dollars have been raised via a GoFundMe page.
Adelaide volunteer Maurice O’Connell is leading the donation charge from the front line.
“It’s thanks to entities like Channel 7 who continue to bring the story to the outside world,” he told me.
“It’s very important that continues to happen,” he said.
“The world focus was moving away from Ukraine and it’s really important that doesn’t happen because the need here continues to be great.”
Ukrainians refugees displaced by the war line up for help. Credit: 7NEWS
Continually there are stories of sadness but also some happy images.
Maurice visited an Odessa orphanage where children and staff were seen happily being entertained.
A local magician was casting his spell as the gloom and doom of the ongoing conflict continued outside.
“The kids here are all war orphans,” Maurice explained.
“Many of these children have been orphaned in the last couple of months, “he said.
Maurice helps lay out food for homeless Ukrainians. Credit: 7NEWS
“Some of them have come from Mariupol where they lost their parents.
“We’re just trying to bring some joy into their lives.”
But the horror of war is never too far away.
Maurice could also be seen comforting a forlorn-looking man who barely speaks English but was carrying the emotional scars of an entire country.
Misha is now a volunteer at School-35 which has been transformed into a refugee safe- haven.
“This is the worst story I have come across,” Maurice recounted.
“Misha arrived with his son looking very upset,” he said.
Another building rocked by Russian missiles in Ukraine. Credit: 7NEWS
“A Russian shell struck the apartment he lived in and killed his wife and his daughter.
“Misha explained he had to gather up his wife’s body parts and bury them in the garden.
“I don’t know how you could ever, ever get over that and how you could forget that.”
That was just one atrocity.
Misha also told Maurice how Russians stormed his neighbour’s house in Mariupol and cold-bloodedly killed the entire family.
These are everyday stories in this war-torn country.
That’s why every dollar helps feed and clothe refugees who have nowhere else to turn.
Maurice O’Connell is eternally grateful for every dollar received on his GoFundMe page.
Every cent goes to those who need it most.
Meet the Adelaide aid worker risking his life to help Ukrainians in need
Source by 7news.com.au