The Baldwin Park Kids Club is doing its part to help refugees in the Ukraine.
Although the Russo-Ukrainian War has been escalating for years, the conflict erupted in February with a Russian invasion of the Ukraine, causing hundreds of civilian deaths and infrastructure destruction.
Millions of refugees have fled their homes seeking safety, protection and assistance.
The Baldwin Park Kids Club combined a celebration of the Easter holiday with a donation effort for Ukrainian families and children through an afternoon egg hunt Friday, April 15.
Bree Holbrook, community service and outreach coordinator for the club, remembers when she learned of the turmoil.
“I was heartbroken and couldn’t imagine having to go through something like that,” she says.
The club asked participants to bring 12 stuffed non-candy eggs and items to donate for the refugees, including canned meat, oil, salt, powdered milk, baby supplies, wipes, diapers, tampons and old baby carriers.
The donations were dropped off at the Lake Baldwin Church office in downtown Baldwin Park.
“It’s really important to give back to our community so that our kids learn that life is not only about them,” Holbrook says. “Doing for others and wanting to make this world a better place is what this world needs. If we can teach our kids this at an early age, it will help them as adults have a heart for those in need.”
The club worked in collaboration with Dan and Rebecca Gregoire, who have lived and worked in Slovakia for the last 15 years. The couple currently lives in Spisska Nova Ves, about two hours from the Ukrainian border, where they have opened their home to Ukrainian refugees and made almost daily trips to the border to deliver supplies and provide safe transportation for women and children fleeing the country.
Holbrook says she hopes the event raised awareness about the crisis in Ukraine and gave local kids an opportunity to have a fun Easter egg hunt.
Alena Baker, lead organizer and founding member of the club, says it holds a special place in her heart.
“I love that the Baldwin Park Kids Club brings together the children of our community for both friendship as well as a way to instill the value of service to others,” Baker says.
BALDWIN PARK KIDS CLUB
To learn more about Baldwin Park Kids Club, email [email protected].