This past week I interviewed Mark J Lindquist. Mark is currently in Poland doing humanitarian work on the border of Poland and Ukraine. He is boots on the ground helping Ukrainian refugees at the border. The stories he told about the suffering of the Ukrainian people moved me to tears at times.
Mark Lindquist graduated from Ortonville High School in 1999. He was adopted in 1982 from Korea by Gordon and Dianne Lindquist. He served in the United States Airforce. Mark is now a motivational speaker and entertainer. He sings the National Anthem at NFL games. I heard Mark speak at Lac qui Parle Valley a few years ago and was impressed by his message of staying positive and encouraging people. Mark also spoke at the Madison Kiwanis. I follow Mark on Facebook and was watching his posts about dropping everything he was doing, including suspending his run for U.S. House of Representatives, to go help the Ukrainians.
He was posting pictures of what it was like on the Ukrainian border. I was very moved by what he was doing. I had been following closely on the news about Russia invading Ukraine and the suffering of the Ukrainian people. The atrocities that are happening. Mark acted and jumped on a plane to be directly involved. I admire that. One thing that upset me about what Mark said was that the Red Cross and UNICEF tents are empty and the workers are walking around drinking coffee while people outside their tents standing in line for 48 hours are dying! It was below 32 degrees most nights and people didn’t have enough warm clothes while waiting in line to be processed. That made me upset.
Here is Marks Facebook post about what is needed.
REALITY OF REFUGEE LIFE: I heard yesterday that many of these mothers aren’t showering, simply because when they fled they didn’t pack shower sandals. You wouldn’t want to go barefoot in a makeshift refugee outdoor shower either. So when I heard all they needed was a pair of $4USD shower sandals, I spent three hours yesterday afternoon buying a van load of footwear. Many didn’t bring slippers and if you’ve been on your feet with your child waiting 12-24 hours to cross the border you’d like to take your shoes off and let your feet breathe. Wouldn’t it be the best thing ever if you had a pair of slippers to walk around in while you make a plan for the next phase of your life instead of wearing your shoes all waking hours of the day? These slippers were about $5USD.
When I wheeled the cart overflowing with suitcases, flip flops, shower shoes, knockoff crocs, power banks, charging cords, wheeled carts, and slippers, we only made it halfway through the center before the carts were completely empty. They were gone so fast I wondered for a moment if I had accidentally dipped them all in gold. The women were so appreciative. They smiled, they clutched their brand new items closely. They shed tears. Over a pair of shower sandals.
The hardest part was explaining through google translate that I had no more items to give. The heartbreak that they did not make it over to the cart in time was something I could feel even though I didn’t speak her language.
Donations at that center have dropped 50% in the last two weeks and will likely drop by that percentage again, unless we spring into action. I have the direct line to this center and when our donations come in, this is one of the places we will support.
Even $20USD buys a mother with a child in tow a nice hard cover rolling suitcase so the travel through Europe is a little easier. The real impact is being made by INDIVIDUALS diving in and solving problems on the spot with no red tape, conflicting mission statements, or hesitation to help the human being in front of you.
Let’s do more good, my friends.
Listen to Mark’s interview and if you want to help him I have posted the links.
To send items
GoFund me page: https://www.gofundme.com/f/US-Veteran-Headed-to-Ukraine?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_campaign=p_cp%20share-sheet&fbclid=IwAR2fhHaI3i29H6Iq-JIkQXPuP8qlMyhtwwA1mAyeRWMEczFu8vc-a2G4h9Q