People all over the world are showing support for Ukraine as its citizens try to fend off a Russian invasion that has left hundreds dead, thousands homeless and millions fearful of what could become of their country. But for Iowa, it is a personal matter that hits close to home.
“Iowa and Cherkasy, Ukraine have been sister states since 1996 so when they asked for help, we were more than happy to give it,” said Cindy Hicks, Communications Manager for the Seed Science Center (SSC) and board member of the Iowa Sister States organization. “They requested many things, including socks and gloves. We felt like these were two items that the SSC, with the help of the Iowa State and Ames communities, could gather.”
The Iowa State University (ISU) SSC is partnering with Iowa Sister States, in coordination with Governor Reynolds, to collect 500 pairs of gloves and 1,000 pairs of socks for Cherkasy. Cash donations are also being accepted and will be used to purchase the needed items. The citizens of Cherkasy, a once vibrant and beautiful area on the shores of the 870 square mile Kremenchuck Reservior, are now struggling to live to see another day.
“At the Seed Science Center, we care about people. I was in Ukraine a few years back with the American Seed Trade Association delegation to explore collaboration with them in seed technology” said Manjit Misra, Director of the ISU SSC. “The people in Ukraine are so welcoming and warm! So, we want to help people of our sister state of Cherkasy, Ukraine when they need our help.”
Like Iowa, Cherkasy’s biggest commodity is agriculture. And much like Iowa, it is currently a chilly season in Cherkasy, where it could be warm one day and snowing and raining the next day. Many Cherkasy residents have become refugees, as Russia targets civilians and their homes.
“Can you imagine being forced from your home under fire into Iowa weather with just the clothes you are wearing?” Hicks asked. “This is happening to men, women and children in Cherkasy and all of the Ukraine, as they fight for their country and their lives.”
You can donate new socks and gloves, or gently used gloves that are clean and in good condition, at the ISU SSC at 2115 Osborne Drive. All sizes are welcome as they will be distributed to men, women and children. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org to have items picked up. We encourage ISU departments and local Ames businesses to have their own collection box for the items and to email to have those picked up. The deadline to donate items is Thursday, April 14.
If you would rather donate money to Cherkasy, go to IowaSisterStates.org, Click on DONATE, then click the drop down and pick Cherkasy, Ukraine. Any amount is appreciated!