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Ukrainian refugees ministered to in many ways around Europe

Sixty bags of clothing collected by Latter-day Saint youth in Friedrichsdorf, Germany. The clothing was delivered to refugees in Frankfurt. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Essential goods collected by the Church in Milan, Italy, to be shipped to Ukraine. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The crowded train station in Krakow, Poland. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Sleeping bags and other goods brought from Sweden by two young men representing Swedish congregations of the Church. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Young refugees wait for Christophe Mortier to pick him up on the Ukrainian-Polish border. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Elder Carl B. Cook of the Presidency of the Seventy, left; Elder Massimo De Feo, Europe Area President, center; and President David L. Chandler, president of the Poland Warsaw Mission, confer about refugee efforts in Poland. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
A family of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints enjoys time at the Kyiv Temple in February 2022. Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Latter-day Saints in many European countries minister each day in unexpected ways to individuals fleeing the armed conflict in Ukraine.

These efforts take place at the hands of individuals, families, wards, stakes or coordinated across countries. Some of the service was described in a recent article from the Church’s Europe Newsroom.

Elder Massimo De Feo is the Europe Area president, and he said members of the Church in the 38 countries that make up the area want to emulate the Savior in ministering to those affected by this crisis.

“We are trying to do what Jesus would have us do, to lift the downtrodden. So, we want the right supplies, financial support and people to go where they are needed the most — and as quickly as possible,” he said.

More than 600 members of the Church who are Ukrainian refugees have received help from the Church so far.

The crowded train station in Krakow, Poland.
The crowded train station in Krakow, Poland. | Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Elder Rubén V. Alliaud, the second counselor in the Europe Area presidency, said, “It is almost overwhelming to see the goodness and the willingness to serve of so many.”

Helping organize the relief efforts is a system created by local Church leaders of congregations bordering Ukraine. This Partner Branch System includes 19 Austrian, German and Swiss stakes — mostly along the 1,200-mile border.

Those serving along this border established lines of communication with each other and a system to address the diverse needs of those crossing the border at different locations.

For example, Latter-day Saints in the city of Krakow, Poland, have helped with transportation, temporary housing and food for those who are arriving from Ukraine.

Because most adult men are legally required to stay in Ukraine, most refugees are women or children.

In Italy, Church members worked with Ukraine’s consulate to organize and create care packages that filled more than two dozen pallets with a variety of supplies needed by people crossing the border.

Essential goods collected by the Church in Milan, Italy, to be shipped to Ukraine.
Essential goods collected by the Church in Milan, Italy, to be shipped to Ukraine. | Credit: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Members in the Lille region of France gathered more than 10,000 pounds of food. A group from Belgium then helped with transportation and distribution of the food.

Other projects have been taken on in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg and Sweden.

As takes place around the world when disasters strike or when needs are great for any other reason, many members have fasted and prayed for heaven’s help in alleviating suffering of those affected by this conflict. As part of their fasts, members make monetary donations in the form of fast offerings that allow Church leaders to obtain and distribute needed food, clothing or other supplies to those in need.

Donations are also always accepted to the Church’s Humanitarian Aid Fund to allow Latter-day Saint Charities to respond to needs on a larger scale, as well.

Read more: What the Church is doing to help in Eastern Europe

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