Mercyhurst works to help Ukraine

Bella Lee, Staff writer

The ongoing situation that’s occurring in Ukraine is nothing less than scary. Hundreds of civilians have died, among them over a hundred children as millions of Ukrainians have been displaced and forced to flee as Russia attempts to take over.  

Everyone is doing whatever they can to help, and Mercyhurst is no different.  

On March 14, President Kathleen Getz sent a message to the Mercyhurst community expressing her wanting to help Ukraine.  

“Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine is devastating for the people of Ukraine and has deeply affected many others, including members of our own community,” Getz said.  

“I know I speak for all of us at Mercyhurst when I say that our hearts go out to every person affected. In times of crisis, the Mercyhurst community has risen in support of others. I urge you to show your solidarity with the people of Ukraine through this effort and to continue to pray for a swift resolution leading to a lasting peace.” 

Part of Mercyhurst’s support for Ukraine includes working with State Representative Bob Merski’s office as well as our sister city of Lublin, Poland, to collect donations for humanitarian aid.  

The drive, which began on Mar. 14, is accepting donations of personal hygiene items, underwear, bed linens, towels, first aid kits, bandages, and nonperishable food products. Any donations can be dropped off in the receptacles just outside the President’s office. 

Additionally, there was a prayer service organized by the Sisters of Mercy on Mar. 1.  

“Certainly, many individuals in the MU community have already donated to established charities to support Ukraine, but the donation drive that was shared through President Getz’s office is all we have planned at the university at the moment,” said Dr. Greg Baker, Vice President for Mission.  

“It is a collaborative effort with state representative Bob Merski and Erie’s sister city in Poland, where many Ukrainian refugees are being supported right now.” 

Everyone in the community has been concerned and everyone wants to help.  

“From the moment that this invasion of Ukraine took place, I have heard from concerned people in the MU community wondering what we can do,” said Baker.  

“But we are appropriately moving from prayer to action. War causes so much unnecessary death and suffering, and the plight of those who are forced to migrate (already more than 3 million people have fled the country to Poland alone) leaves a huge number of people with needs for basic life necessities.” 

There is plenty that students of Mercyhurst can do to show solidarity and action.  

“We recognize that students might not have a lot of disposable income, but every little but helps,” said Baker.  

“Students can donate items they already have, or they might consider forgoing an expensive cup of coffee or some other luxury and share the money they saved to purchase basic necessities with these refugees. We are part of one, interconnected human family. Our Mercy tradition calls us to solidarity with those who suffer, and to work to support the common good. This crisis in Ukraine is calling forth the goodness of people across the world (including those of us at MU) to do our part.” 

Every little thing counts, so try to help and spread the word in any way you can.