On Sunday March 6, the Sleaford Masonic Building on Watergate in the town will be opening its doors to receive donations towards the Ukrainian appeal.
Around 670,000 Ukrainian women and children have fled the fighting and Russian attacks, over the borders and into neighbouring Poland, Slovakia, Moldova, Hungary and Romania, carrying little or no possessions.
A massive effort is already mobilising to provide them with urgent supplies to help them in the short term.
Chris Wiliams from Shire Lodge of the Masons has posted an appeal saying: “The building will be open from 9.30am to 3.30pm.
“The appeal is asking for: blankets, towels, sleeping bags, thermal clothing, hats, scarfs, gloves, female sanitary products, nappies, wet wipes, first aid supplies, toiletries, torches, batteries, plastic utensils and dinnerware, tinned food, baby food, baby bottles and formula milk.
“If you have any such items please bring them to the lodge rooms where they will be gratefully received.”
Meanwhile, several friends have got together to spread the word via Facebook appealing for more items to help the refugees, which will be sent via Polish contacts in Boston to Southampton and then by lorry to Poland.
Three pallets of donations have already reached the Polish border with Ukraine to pass on to people waiting to cross the border.
Felicity Borkatas from Sleaford launched the appeal to gather donations locally with help from Zoe Ireland, Charlotte Garton and Lorraine Salt.
Felicity said of the refugees arriving in Poland: “They are going to need supplies - this is where we can all help. My friend Wendy is friends with Natalia Bartkowiak and Patsie Marson with the Community Support Group in Boston who has contacts in Poland and is arranging for donations to be picked up on Friday.”
She has been receiving and collecting donations from the Sleaford area and planned to take them to her friend in Boston.
She added: “I have been to Boston to ensure they can accommodate more donations, but they are unable to take any more at the moment as they are struggling to organise lorry transport.
“I came back and dropped my load off at Sleafordian Coaches who are also collecting for the appeal.”
Sleafordian Coaches are taking in supplies for the Boston United FC Ukraine Crisis supplies appeal at their depot in Sleaford’s Pride Parkway. They will arrange transport for the supplies to get to Boston.
The community group in Boston are using a unit near TKMaxx in the Boston retail park off Horncastle Road.
Felicity said: “It is just the thought of being in the refugees’ position. They have had to drop everything and leave home without even spare clothes to get to safety - they have nothing.
“I have children aged two and 12 and to take them away from everything they know to a different country with a different language, it must be so hard. I cannot imagine what it is like.”
Just this evening she had a woman deliver five bags of items, spare sleeping bags and a box of goods and another arrived as she spoke to the Sleaford Standard.
She also thanked the New Life Community Larder which has donated baby’s nappies, baby food, sanitary products, shower and shampoos, disposable bowls and cutlery, dog and cat food, while businessman Paul Smith has also donated boxes of items, plus toothpaste from Eastgate dental surgery and an offer of a van and two men from Choice Removals to collect and move donations for a day.
Felicity added: “It is lovely that we have such a good community that has come together the way they have.
“We all want to do something, but don’t know what. This seems to be the thing we can do at the moment to help the refugees.”
Items they have appealed for are:
Toothpaste soap shampoo deodorant
Ladies sanitary products
Baby food jars and tinned milk
Sweets for children and activities colouring books and pens small toys
Plastic knives forks and spoons
Plastic plates and cups