Collection campaign: UG throw blankets will keep Ukrainians warm

Two staff members at the Energy Academy have started a campaign to collect the red UG throw blankets to send to Ukraine. They’ve already collected fifty of them, which should be on their way to Kyiv this week.

Every UG staff member was given a blanket in late December. It was a gift from the board of directors to keep warm at work now that the thermostat is maxed out at 19 degrees Celsius.

But not everyone is using the blanket. ‘I heard some people around here say they didn’t know what to do with it’, says Karin Ree, coordinator at the Science Shop.

Perfect size

She asked her colleague Leo Dvortsin, who’s half Ukrainian and who’s been in contact with aid organisations over there, whether they might be of use in Ukraine. 

‘I sent some photos to the volunteer organisation Zgraya’, says Dvortsin. ‘To my surprise, they were really enthusiastic. Apparently the size, and the fact that it fits easily into its bag, is perfect for them.’

The co-workers proceeded to send out a notice to people at the Energy Academy, where they both work. ‘I also wrote to the board, since it was a gift’, says Ree. ‘They were okay with it and will be collecting blankets themselves.’ 

Transport

The first fifty throw blankets have been collected and should have been underway by last Friday. But getting them to Kyiv turns out to be a challenge. Dvortsin had to arrange transport himself, and he found a church that was sending volunteers over there last Friday. ‘In the end, they didn’t have the room to take the blankets with them’, he says.

Last weekend, he found new contacts through a Groningen car dealer. ‘He’s got great contacts in Eastern Europe and Ukraine through his work. We hope to be able to give the blankets to someone travelling to Kyiv this week.’

Evacuated people 

The first load of blankets will be going to people who’ve been forced to evacuate their home because it’s under fire. ‘Right now, that’s mainly the east and north-east of Ukraine’, says Dvortsin. A potential second batch will be going to an army unit that Zgraya helps out a lot.

Staff members who want to donate their blanket can email Karin Ree. ‘We’ll store them here at the Energy Academy. Anything up to ten blankets I’ll come pick up myself, since that’s what fits in my saddle bags. We’ll have to come up with a different solution for larger batches.’

Nederlands

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