July 18, 1996

We loaded our first container shipment for Ukraine Wednesday evening, July 17th. A dozen or so helpers gathered at Lydia Kubik-Bauer's home where a 20 foot container was dropped off the previous day. We took pictures--they can be found here on my site (click).

A second container was loaded nine days later for Khust.

The container is being picked up today (Thursday, July 18) and will be on it's way by train and ship to Chernigev, 40 miles from Chernobyl. Estimated time of shipping will be about two months. The route is St. Paul, MN/Port Elizabeth, NJ/Amsterdam/Odessa/Chernigev.

We have two containers going this week--this one to Chernigev and one another to Khust in western Ukraine. The Khust container will be loaded and sent from Lydia's next Tuesday and Wednesday.

We are VERY PLEASED that we were able to ship 584 boxes weighing ten tons valued at $145,000 on this shipment!

This was a team effort and credit needs to be given to all who made this shipment possible.

First, thanks goes to my sister Lydia whose home has been disrupted as the collection point for hundreds of boxes. Thanks, Mary Sandmann, of Compassion Humanitarian Relief for connecting with Operation Support Freedom and acquiring the container and arranging with the US Government to ship it to the other side of the world. The shipping cost will be at least $7,000. Thanks to Yevgeniy Yevtikhov who spent two weeks inventoring, packing and labeling boxes so that all our loading group had to do was to simply get them loaded on the container. We thank Robin and John Appelgate of CHR who acquired large amounts of food for this shipment. We appreciate the efforts of Epiphany Catholic Church in Coon Rapids, Minnesota for their generous donations of food.

Many of the clothes were provided by a southern Minnesota relief agency that ships regularly to Guatemala. A major food producer donated large quantities of cereal. Twenty-three area hospitals and clinics donated equipment and medicine. International Medical Aid supplied us with some of the medicine. Private individuals also donated to this cause. The United Church of God in Minneapolis donated over $2200 in children's therepeutic supplies for the Children's Rehabilitation Center in Chernigev. They also provided most of the labor for final packing of the container. Finally, we want to thank Family Umbrella Network for their promotion and support of The Chernobyl Fund. For all this we are very very thankful.