The whole world is watching as the situation in Ukraine develops, becoming more dire with each passing day. The painful images of NICU babies struggling to breathe in bomb shelters, of families being torn apart as men stay behind to fight, of heroes searching the rubble for survivors after a blast, have had a profound effect on us all, and have brought out the very best in Brooklyn, as catastrophes always do.
Some Brooklynites are planting sunflowers; the National flower of Ukraine, in a brilliant show of solidarity, and some are lining up at the Ukranian Consulate in Manhattan to volunteer for military duty. Others, like the Ukranian owners of a small business in Sheepshead Bay, are trying to collect supplies for those still in Ukraine, who no longer have access to basic necessities and to alleviate the suffering of the one million plus refugees who have already fled and are currently displaced and homeless.
In addition to proudly displaying the suddenly very recognizable blue and yellow Ukranian flag atop their building and a sign that says “Stop Putin, Stop War”, the owners of Slava Electrical Plumbing Supply, located at 3375 Shore Parkway, have also posted a request for donations of baby items like diapers, wipes, and formula, warm adult clothing and shoes, blankets, water, canned, non-perishable food, and medical supplies, which they will ship to Poland for distribution throughout Ukraine. Thanks to word of mouth and a huge social media boost from the owner of Ladykillers, the barbershop next door, at 3377 Shore Parkway (an alternate drop-off site), the good Samaritans have received a tremendous outpouring from the local community and abroad, which should serve as a heartwarming testament to all of humanity.