The organization will have been very intense until the end at the Comptoirs de l’Est. But the two trucks of humanitarian aid for Ukraine left well. This Eastern European grocery store has become in one week the crossroads of humanitarian fundraising in support of the victims of the war in Ukraine. The two managers of the store, Julia, of Russian origin, and Alexandre, of Ukrainian origin, did not expect to have to manage such an influx of generosity. The twenty volunteers, many of them Ukrainians, who came to help on the spot could not have imagined it either.
Among them, there are many Ukrainian Erasmus students in Lille. Yana, at ISTC, has all her family and friends in Lviv. The city in the west of Ukraine became in a week the refuge for many Ukrainians having to leave their homes. ” I didn’t expect all this help. The world is with us “, she rejoices.
Two trucks headed for Warsaw
Two trucks therefore left around 1 a.m. for Warsaw, where they will send the goods collected to the associations on site. 1,600 kilometres, and around twenty hours on the road. The first truck is driven by a Polish volunteer. The second, on the other hand, is a little more unexpected. Andrew, an English volunteer based in Templeuve-en-Pévèle, did not want to stand idly by in the face of the horrors of war. ” I wondered what I could do. I have time, money, a driver’s license. So I rented a truck this morning and came to help transport the supplies. If he categorically refuses to be considered a hero, he has also launched an online kitty which has already reached more than €5,000. ” All this money will go to Ukraine. Not to reimburse my trip “, he specifies clearly.
Phone calls, changes of destination, long briefings from the two drivers marked a logistically stressful afternoon. All drug collection is on hold and stored in the store, as it requires special permission. The objective is still to send a large part of these provisions to Ukraine.
For now, the grocery store is pausing collection, which is expected to resume next week. Julia and Alexandre are looking for other ways to store the donations, and will keep up to date on their Facebook page.
Les Comptoirs de l’Est: 14, rue Léon Gambetta. Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Comptoirsdelest. Open Tuesday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
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