Hope From the Heartland

Leslie Kent with Irena from Mariopol.

Over the course of the past year, Decatur's very own Wayne and Leslie Kent have collected almost $250,000 raised through donations from people just like you. The Kents will be leading a mission trip back to Poland this May. The couple has seen first hand the need of the Ukrainian refugees in Poland and the lifechanging impact of donations from Central Illinois.

While in Poland, Leslie met Irena, who with her husband walked out of Mariopol 3 months after their home was leveled by bombings. The couple lived in their basement for those 3 months, coming up to the outside just once a day in order to, “See the sky to determine we are still alive!”

Help support Ukraine response efforts

The people of the heartland of the US are generous and resourced to send hope to people in desperate need, displaced by the war in Ukraine. Like central Illinois, Ukraine is an agriculture exporting nation. We understand their connection to their land and crops and a commitment to generational living in one setting.

The war has displaced these people like us.

The war in Ukraine will soon be more than 1 year long.

Some 14,000 civilians and military personnel were killed in the year 2014 to 2022 through the various Russian incursions into Ukraine’s Crimea and Donbas areas. This figure includes Ukrainians and Russians.

Since the recent war started on February 24, 2022, the United Nations indicates the Ukrainian civilian deaths at 7,155 which includes 438 children.

The war has produced this suffering.

Additionally, in ways that cannot be adequately measured, the entire Ukrainian population has suffered.

Approximately 9 million Ukrainians crossed the border in Poland since February 2023 are now spread throughout Europe.

The greatest concentration is in Poland, which has seen some 1.6 million refugees register in Poland, as of January 2023.

This fund raiser is directed provide help to displaced Ukrainians in Ukraine and in Poland.

The 1.6 million refugees in Poland are primarily women and children. Men 18-60 are not allowed to leave Ukraine, unless they have 4 or more children, or a special needs child.

Ukrainian women/children in Poland need:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Medical care
  • Language lessons
  • Schooling