Evergreen Park church donates supplies to victims of Russia, Ukraine war

Evergreen Park community felt for women, children affected by Ukraine-Russian war
EVERGREEN PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- Local communities are continuing to step up to help overseas.

More than 600 boxes of everyday supplies were loaded up Wednesday at St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Evergreen Park, and, within 10 days, they'll arrive in Poland in the hands of refugees who need them.

A small act of kindness locally is making a massive impact internationally.

In just four days, St. Bernadette parishioners and the Evergreen Park community donated hundreds of everyday items.

Diapers, toothpaste, shampoo and other critical needs added up to 600 boxes of donations that will soon land in Poland.

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"It just broke my heart to see so many women and children and people dying, and I wanted to help somehow," said Father Benedykt Pazdan, pastor of St. Bernadette parish.

Father Pazdan was born and raised in Poland, just 60 miles away from the Ukrainian border, where millions of women and children are now fleeing as refugees.

So this community stepped up -- along with the hundreds of boxes, more than $130,000 has also been raised to directly help refugees overseas.

"That just speaks volumes of the goodness of hearts we see in many, many people," Pazdan said.

RELATED: Ukraine-Russia War: Chicago prepares to welcome Ukrainian refugees

On Wednesday, those boxes were loaded up outside of St. Bernadette church thanks to the help of the Evergreen Park Fire Department and students from Brother Rice High School.

"It's a big world, but you can have a great reach in just being able to lend a hand and step up when called upon," said Matt Prunckle, dean of student life at Brother Rice.

Evergreen Park Fire Chief Ron Kleinhaus agreed.

"Anytime we can come out to help that's what we're here to do," he said.

Now that the truck is all loaded up, its next stop is a United Airlines flight to bring it over to Poland.
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