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Bu məqalə Google Translate servisi vasitəsi ilə avtomatik olaraq rus dilindən azərbaycan dilinə tərcümə olunmuşdur. Bundan sonra mətn redaktə edilməmişdir.

Shoes, clothes, school supplies: a free store for refugees from Ukraine operates in New Jersey


Nadezhda Verbitskaya

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In the summer of 2022, a free store for refugees from Ukraine opened in New Jersey. You can find everything there - from cosmetics to a mattress, says Voice of America.

“When people came in, we gave them hand cream and said it was a gift for coming to us. And all at once melted a little bit. When you start smiling, everyone becomes friends. The refugees we helped are already volunteering in our store. This is how we live here. We don’t have strangers,” say Anastasia Bard and Lyubov Ferara, the organizers of the store.

Love is engaged in this business from morning to evening. She was born in a small town in western Ukraine and has been living in America for 20 years. Her whole family lives in Ukraine, she has no relatives in America. She used to spend every summer with her children in Ukraine, but now, because of the war, this tradition had to be broken.

Anastasia is from Kyiv, she moved to America at 14. She has been living here for 30 years. But her dad is still in Kyiv, her great-aunt is in Odessa. So the soul and heart of a woman is half there.

“It was hard to sleep at the beginning of the war. And now, when you do the job, send the package with help, you will get enough sleep, ”says Anastasia.

The store began with many people coming up to Anastasia, who helped refugees, and saying that they had a lot of things that they were ready to give away. As a result, Anastasia launched a search on social networks for a free space where it would be possible to put donated things, so that those in need would come and take them from there. This is how they met Lyuba, who found a room in the local church.

The shop is located in the Episcopal Church of St. Elizabeth. They were allowed to use the premises for as long as needed. There were old tables, chairs, there were no shelves. All this came from neighbors, from ordinary people who wanted to help.

On the subject: In Brooklyn, refugees from Ukraine are given aid, taught English, and advised on insurance

Convenience and order

In the free store, everything - clothes and shoes - is arranged by size. Those who come don't have to waste time searching - look for your size and choose from what is there.

“We are buying new underwear. There are things and used, of course, but mostly new. We call it a store, but it's actually free. This is to make people feel more comfortable. Come and take it, you don’t need any documents, no checks,” says Anastasia.

All the teenage volunteers who help unpack belong to this church. Recently, the store received 50 backpacks for elementary school students with stationery sets inside. Now refugee children will be able to go to school with everything they need.

“This is an unforgettable feeling when you help, say that you have an air mattress, and they hug you ... Because the family has nothing to sleep on, since they just arrived from Kharkov because they lost their home. I stand and barely restrain myself so as not to burst into tears in front of this family. And you understand that it was not in vain that you started all this, because it is really very necessary, ”Lubov explains.

They are the link between those who need help and those who can provide it. People, according to them, are often embarrassed to take a lot, because someone may need it more. There are those who are embarrassed to come. And the volunteers want to tell them: “Come! We are very happy to do this. This is a positive charge of energy for you and for us.”

The store is open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in two shifts - from 10:00 to 11:30 and from 18:30 to 20:00. You can find it at St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church, 169 Fairmount Rd, Ridgewood, NJ 07450.

For more information call: 646-388-1433 - Luba Ferara and 917-769-8085 - Nastya Bard.

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