It can be overwhelming and disheartening to hear the daily drumbeat of a crisis such as the war that Russia is waging against Ukraine. People can feel hopeless. Or, like the folks at E.M. Duggan, they can take action.
The GBPCA contractor organized a clothing drive and delivered the goods to the Christ of King Ukrainian Church in Jamaica Plain, which, in turn, shipped them to the war-torn country. Among the items collected were blankets and towels as well as clothes. With the support of Len Monfredo, the company’s principal, Duggan also had t-shirts imprinted with the message, “Glory to Ukraine,” imprinted in the country’s national colors. Ukrainian soldiers often share the phrase when greeting one another. The shirts were included in the donation.
Alex Motorny, Duggan’s safety manager, who was born and raised in Ukraine and still has family there, translated the phrase so that a local vendor could imprint it on the shirts. He also translated a letter, which in part states that the donated items should be thought of as a “hug from those around the world who care about you.” The letters were tucked into bags along with the shirts. Motorny said that he was moved to tears by the letter and by the actions of his colleagues.
“E.M. Duggan cares about their employees and about the people in Ukraine,” he says. “It’s very kind and generous of Len and the rest of the company to do such a great thing. I’m very touched.”
Because it can be difficult to track donated items amid a crisis and determine whether they reached their intended destination, the letter also included instructions asking recipients in the Ukraine to contact Duggan. Company members were thrilled when Maxim Hetmanchuk, a wounded Ukrainian soldier being treated in a hospital, sent a message indicating his appreciation for the donated items and kind wishes. He said that he cried when he read the letter. The soldier later sent a photo of himself wearing the specially designed shirt.