Those who remain in war zones within Ukraine are drinking groundwater and melted snow because the bombs landing there have destroyed critical infrastructure, the New York Times has reported.
To ensure potable water is available, Water With Blessings is partnering with Razom for Ukraine to provide WWB Emergency Kits.
Water With Blessings is a nonprofit water purification ministry based in Louisville. Born of a desire to stymie diseases caused by contaminated water, the organization typically trains women how to use filters to provide remote communities with clean drinking water. However, with the current state of affairs in Ukraine, Water With Blessings has partnered with a youth organization that has connections to volunteers on the ground.
Razom for Ukraine is a nonprofit that has been around since 2014. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine last month, the organization has been sending aid shipments every week to their contacts in the war zones of their home country.
“ ‘Razom’ means ‘together’ which sums up our sense of how to best help those suffering in Ukraine; by working together,” Water With Blessings’ website states. “We like that Razom is a small, flexible organization led by Ukrainians. We like their pragmatic, gutsy approach: get supplies to the border to meet up with Razom volunteers in private vehicles who are slipping under the radar to get relief to the front lines of the war.”
Although the relationship between the two nonprofits is only a few weeks old, Water With Blessings’ executive director, Ursuline Sister of Mount St. Joseph Larraine Lauter, said it’s going well.
She said Razom has been shipping pallets of medical supplies to the Polish border and transporting them to the civil defense units deep in Ukraine.
“I’m sure people have contributed to support refugees,” Sister Lauter said. “And they need all the help they can get. But so do people who have been unable to escape and people in the civil defense units.
“Razom is able to get supplies to those who are defending their country. There is a terrible need for water,” she said.
Water With Blessings is sending Sawyer PointONE mini filters, translated instructions for correct use and maintenance, as well as handwritten expressions of personal support. Sister Lauter said 600 filters will be sent out on Friday this week and another 600 are being prepared.
“We’re going to keep doing that as long as we can,” she said. “We’re assured there is a need. I hope for the sake of the people there it won’t be very long, but we’ll send them as long as they’re needed.”
Sister Lauter said the small filters are guaranteed for a million gallons, which translates to years of clean water.
“You can endure anything else, just about, as long as you have clean water.”
Sawyer Products is offering special pricing for Ukraine relief. A $20 donation can provide a pocket-sized filter kit and pouch and other costs, such as printing Ukrainian instructions. To donate, visit www.waterwithblessings.org or send checks and personal messages to Water With Blessings, 1902 Campus Place, Suite 11, Louisville Ky., 40299.
Donors are invited to visit Water With Blessings to learn a bit of Ukrainian and write notes that will be sent with the emergency kits.
“With every filter, we are including a handwritten note in Ukrainian of support and encouragement,” Sister Lauter said. “Donors can come by and learn some Ukrainian to write notes to send with the filters.”
She said the personal notes give people a sense of hope.
“In this case, every ounce counts,” she said. “We know the filters are tangible hope but people need spiritual hope as well. Something that says someone personally did this.”