The Parish Magazine May 2022


Serving the communities of Charvil, Sonning & Sonning Eye since 1869

22 The Parish Magazine - May 2022


'With tears in my eyes and happiness in my heart…'

Responding to the plight of millions of Ukrainians, Twyford resident Debbie Martin (above left), began organising donations of

everyday items that could be sent to Ukraine in a lorry. As we went to press, lorry number 9 had arrived in Folkestone! Each lorry

has between £50,000 to £60,000 worth of donations made by local people. On lorry number 8, which will be driven into West

Ukraine — Lviv and Rivne — was the enormous collection of 'smiles in shoeboxes' (above left) that included gifts and toys for

children. They will then be transported on smaller vehicles and taken where they are very much needed. Here, Debbie tells the

moving story of one of the gifts that had been sent to Ukraine on an earlier lorry . . .

With tears in my eyes and happiness in my heart… Someone kindly gave me Polly

during the early donations. Before Polly was sent to Ukraine, I wrote my email

address on the back of the luggage tag asking if the receiver was able to let me know

that Polly had arrived safely and had found her way into the arms of a child.

I never thought in a million years that I would hear anything, but it is with so much

joy I can share with you all that Polly is safely in the arms of Mariia. Below is the

translation from the amazing letter Mariia has sent me.

Hello dear friend!

I am Nataly. Recently my niece received a gift from you and asked me to help her with sending

a letter to you.

'Hi Debbie!

My name is Mariia. I am 6 years old. I am from Ukraine. Thank you for Polly! I really like it. I

named it Polina [Ukrainian version of the name 'Polly']. When the war is over, I will be glad if

you come to visit me."

Debbie, all Ukrainian people and I personally really appreciate your support and support

from people all over the world. Thanks to such wonderful and careful people we are still alive

and hopefully we will survive in this cruel and senseless war where too many innocent people

are dying every day. I really hope that this madness will be over soon.

Just let me know if some day you decide

to visit Ukraine. We will be happy to show

you our beautiful country.

Stay safe and healthy.

Best wishes from Mariia and Nataly

Look at the difference we are making

— it's never too late to donate and if

anyone would like to donate a small teddy

with a message on a luggage tag let me



Left: Mariia's letter to Debbie

Right: Mariia with Polina (Polly the doll)

Right above: Polly before being shipped to Ukraine

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