Ukraine appeals: ‘My phone has not stepped ringing ... Everybody wants to help’

Ukrainian community in Ireland overwhelmed with support and donations

All the available floor space in Donnybrook Bikes is occupied with donated goods for Ukraine, but still donations keep coming.

Four van loads of materials have already been taken away and a cargo plane is being prepared to fly it to Poland and then by an undisclosed route to Ukraine.

Many organisations in Ireland have been involved in a humanitarian drive to help the suffering people of Ukraine.

For Tetyana Maryshko, the fate of her country is at stake. She is the co-owner of Donnybrook Bikes and has been living in Ireland for 20 years.

She has been tasked by the Ukrainian embassy in Ireland with gathering together donations for her country. There are boxes piled high of nappies, sanitary products, blankets, warm clothing and toys. Cars have been queuing up outside the shop.

“My phone has not stepped ringing yesterday and today. Everybody wants to chip in with help. We have had companies coming on board offering us their vehicles and their manpower,” she said.

“Everything I have asked for I have received. I have never volunteered in my life. I was just thrown into this. We are trying to streamline everything and set up a website.”

She said Norwegian Air has agreed to provide a cargo plane to ship the donations to the Polish-Ukrainian border.

“We have found a way and an established route into Ukraine where supply is going in and out,” she said.

The Irish Red Cross asked people to send donations not goods, but Ms Maryshko said there is a huge need for both money and goods and that the Red Cross is overstretched working in the country.

Ms Maryshko is from Lviv in the west of Ukraine which is relatively safe from the Russian invasion, but she said her family are getting increasingly worried.

She has been crying looking at the indiscriminate slaughter of Ukrainian civilians by the Russian military.

Anybody who wishes to help should drop in donations to Donnybrook Bikes which is in Rampart Lane next door to the Energia Stadium in Donnybrook.

Nearby the Sandymount Hotel is a drop off point for Support for Ukraine which is organising to help the country's refugees in Poland. They are appealing for medical equipment and for thermal blankets, powerbanks, batteries and hygiene products.

A Longford animal welfare charity is planning to help transport goods needed for Ukrainian people fleeing their country.

Hungry Horse Outside says it will fund the cost of diesel to drive to Poland to deliver donations collected in the next few days in Ireland.

They particularly want nappies for children, Calpol, baby cleaning lotions, and power banks for phones. They also intend to take some food supplies for family pets that their owners may be bringing with them.

The Malibu Tanning Salon in Sligo is taking donations for Ukraine until this Saturday.

The Old Belvedere rugby club in Ailesbury Grove, Ballsbridge is taking donations from 9.30am on Wednesday morning for four days.

They are looking for women and babies toiletries, dry baby food, new women’s and children’s clothes especially undergarments, dry food that can be mixed with water and clean blankets.

In Belfast novelist JanCarson is doing a night of Ukranian literature readings on Sunday evening with the opportunity to stream it at home.

Booker prize winner Anna Burns, Glenn Patterson, Dara McAnulty, Leontia Flynn and Stephen Sexton are among the writers taking part. Writers for Ukraine starts at 8.30pm and all proceeds will go to the Red Cross.

Volunteer with Chernobyl Children International, Jim Kavanagh is spearheading a collection in Kilkenny City. Jim will drive to the Ukranian border with the donations.

Donations can be dropped to 19 Newpark Lower or to Jim Kavanagh at Radestown Lane, Kilkenny. In Thomastown donations can be left at Thomastown United's club shop on Tuesday between 6.15 and 8.30pm.

The Cloud Picker coffee company is running a raffle with the first prize being a Victoria Arduino White Eagle Digit worth €8,000. Tickets range from €10 to €250. All proceeds will go to Unicef in Ukraine.

On Thursday in Cork, St Fin Barre's Cathedral will led the ringing of bells across Cork city and county for five minutes to mark a week since the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The bell ringing takes place at 7pm.