Humanitarian Aid Convoy / Ukraine Appeal OPIR & MOOL

Dear Friends,

I know we all will have been shocked and shaken by the events unfolding in Ukraine and the military escalation that has already forced millions of civilians to make the awful decision to flee or fight, something no one should ever have to confront. 

At Travelling Basket we work directly with artisans across Europe and have family and friends across Poland and other EU countries. As it will for many of you, this feels very close to home and a very real attack on our democracies, liberties, homes and places of work.

We have been unable to sit and watch from not so far away and so have decided to take the following steps to aid the people of Ukrainian:

First, we have adapted what is usually one of the busiest weeks of trading for our store and have Essentially ‘cancelled’ Mother’s Day. As such we will not be offering Mother’s Day flowers or other purchases in our store from the 21st of March. Instead, we are organising a humanitarian aid convoy to meet those crossing the border into Poland. We ask that you make donations in kind and gifts of financial support on our dedicated sites instead. The link and further information for all of this are below.

Second, we will be establishing designated drop locations across the city where you can donate specific items (listed below) which we will be driving to the Ukrainian border and distributing directly to Ukrainian refugees.

We are working as a group called Opir & Mool and have set up dedicated social media accounts for you to connect with and follow the convoy. We will also be documenting every aspect of this Appeal and sharing our progress with you all.

Link to our fundraising page: https://www.givey.com/opiraidforukraine

Link to our Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/opirandmool/

Link to our Facebook: https://www.Facebook.com/OpirandMOOL

About Opir & Mool

We are raising money to help send aid to the Ukrainian Refugees who have had to flee their country due to the Russian invasion. Sending supplies and a message of hope that the British people stand with them in their time of need. We've already had a variety of support come forward, small businesses looking to donate or collect items as well as a group of wonderful people come forward from across the UK from Southampton to Edinburgh and various places in between volunteering to collect, pack, transport and distribute aid to the frontline, however, there are all sorts of costs still involved in transportation logistics and some aid supplies will need to be bought in Europe.

Any money donated through this fundraiser will contribute to helping the Ukrainian refugees. In the event that we raise more money than can be used for the physical convoy, we will use it to help frontline groups on the ground either by buying specific supplies or donating directly to other frontline groups in need. The convoy will be recording their journey both before setting off, and throughout their journey, with regular social media posts and live tracking. It allows donors to keep their fingers on the pulse of what the convoy is up to and how their donations are used.

Please check out our social media pages to find out more about who we are and what we doing - MOOL OSCR number is SC046366

So Who Are We 

We are a group of ordinary people who felt compelled to do something to support the people of Ukraine and Poland. We are mainly based in Scotland but have a collection point in Southampton. 

We have direct experience of getting aid directly to the people in need as some of us sent the first aid convoy into Kosovo in 1999. Now they are passing on their experience to the next generation who are leading the convoy. We have partnered up with MOOL who are a registered charity. This combined effort ensures that all monies raised will go through the charity and be accountable in that way. That we can use MOOL’s vast experience as well as their sorting and storing depot. What matters is that our aid is useful, relevant and efficiently distributed without adding any more pressure to those already on the ground.

Massive Outpouring Of Love (MOOL) is a community-led charity, founded in September 2015 as a response to the ongoing refugee crisis. The organisation secured SCIO status in February 2016 and has continued to offer support to displaced persons in need across Europe and the Middle East as well as closer to home. MOOL is a secular charity with volunteers and trustees from a variety of faith backgrounds as well as none at all. We seek to promote religious and racial harmony by encouraging integration and active cultural participation. MOOL aims to advance education and to promote the relief of poverty, the advancement of human rights and the promotion of equality and diversity in Dumfries & Galloway. OSCR number : SCO46366

This time we are delivering not into a war zone but the principle remains the same. Aid directly to those who need it and partnering with MOOL ensures that we have the logistics and expertise to make this possible.

So What Are We Doing?

We plan to have a convoy of aid leave Scotland the week beginning the 21st of March. Heading to Poland and if we can, Ukraine. Delivering aid to the Ukrainian refugees and also supplies for the polish families who have opened their doors to them.

We are being quite specific with what we will take. We need to ensure our donations are of good quality and what are needed on the ground. Bulky goods such as nappies and sanitary goods will be purchased over there rather than taking up valuable space in our lorries. 

How Can You Help?

You can offer a financial donation through this page givey.com/opiraidforukraine which will go towards the purchasing of goods, medical supplies, food and electricity generators in Poland, which will be transported into Ukraine. 

Or you can donate the following items to one of our drop off locations. Travelling Basket Lifestyle Store is one of these locations and we will be sharing a list of other locations soon. The Items donated will be distributed to host families in Poland as well as across the border into Ukraine:

Please ensure the goods are of good quality, clean  and new if at all possible.

For mother and baby boxes:

  • Baby clothes up to 1 year old
  • Dummies
  • Blankets
  • Wash cloths
  • Carriers 
  • Warm clothing
  • Hats and mittens 
  • Towels

Mothers

  • Packets of new underwear
  • Sanitary products
  • Breast pads
  • Hats and gloves

Other items: 

  • New shoes/trainers
  • New underwear for women and children
  • Thermals
  • Sleeping bags – clean or new
  • Blankets
  • Towels

Toiletries:

  • Solid soap
  • Toothbrushes
  • Hairbrushes
  • Combs

Please put in a note of love and support - or even a picture - we want people to know that we really thinking about them!

Say It

However one of the most important things you can do is to write a personal message of support or knit a blanket or a baby hat etc why? Because aid is one thing, direct messages of love and support are another. We can pop little love hearts or gifts of love into parcels. As long as they are small.

We will make sure we post regular updates of progress so everyone can follow the donations. And we hope this will offer you some ease, we recognise how difficult it is to be witness to the horror of war. We needed to act and we hope you can with us.

Jacek and Nathalie and our team at OPIR & MOOL