Volunteers – Matice Zasovska http://www.maticezasovska.cz/ Tue, 24 May 2022 18:07:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 http://www.maticezasovska.cz/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/icon-4-150x150.png Volunteers – Matice Zasovska http://www.maticezasovska.cz/ 32 32 ‘Burnout and Burnout’: States Seek to Increase Volunteers as Demand Grows | Volunteering http://www.maticezasovska.cz/burnout-and-burnout-states-seek-to-increase-volunteers-as-demand-grows-volunteering/ Tue, 24 May 2022 17:30:00 +0000 http://www.maticezasovska.cz/burnout-and-burnout-states-seek-to-increase-volunteers-as-demand-grows-volunteering/ Between sorting through bulk bags of couscous and buckwheat for food baskets, a friendship has formed between two neighbors. Pensioners Leah Bergman and Hazel Kuperholz have lived next door to each other in Melbourne’s east-central for five years, but credit their friendship to volunteering for community organization C Care, which provides ready meals. And, unlike […]]]>

Between sorting through bulk bags of couscous and buckwheat for food baskets, a friendship has formed between two neighbors.

Pensioners Leah Bergman and Hazel Kuperholz have lived next door to each other in Melbourne’s east-central for five years, but credit their friendship to volunteering for community organization C Care, which provides ready meals.

And, unlike many other members of the organization, the couple continue their volunteer work long after the closures have ended.

“It gave me a purpose and the best thing is that I met my neighbors,” says Bergman.

Hazels agrees that their friendship was a “beautiful” result of her volunteer experience.

“We laugh, we have fun, and we’re all doing a good thing,” she says.

They were drawn to volunteering during Melbourne’s early Covid restrictions because it was a permitted activity that allowed them to escape the lockdowns.

C Care has been overwhelmed by a surge in new volunteers during the pandemic, but Lisa Ball, the organization’s manager, says the service has seen a 30% reduction in the number of regular volunteers since restrictions were eased of Covid last year.

“The need for our service is growing exponentially, so when we can’t meet that on the volunteer side, it’s very difficult to be able to ensure that everyone who needs our support can receive it,” says- she.

“For volunteers who come forward, we fear placing a burden on them that can lead to burnout and burnout.”

Volunteering is now integrated into the weekly routines of Bergman and Kuperholz. But it’s not uniform across the industry.

Australian Red Cross strategic initiatives manager Chris Kwong said he had seen a decline in the number of volunteers during the lockdowns, including the loss of international students returning home when the pandemic hit.

Volunteering Victoria chief executive Scott Miller says organizations from different sectors are still struggling to fill the gaps in the list.

“A lot of volunteers during Covid who have been furloughed…have gone to find other things to do like Netflix, spending more time with their children and grandchildren. So it’s an uphill battle.

A report by the organization found that the pandemic was correlated with a 50% drop in volunteer participation in 2020.

Last week, the New South Wales government launched a first Ministerial Task Force on Volunteering to identify challenges in the sector, including recruitment and retention.

The Government of Victoria will open applications next month for $1.3million in grants – worth up to $80,000 each – to help organizations attract new volunteers.

The government will also unveil a new volunteer strategy that will provide a roadmap for recruiting new volunteers, enticing former volunteers to return, and providing training and professional development.

Miller says the biggest challenge will be for organizations to figure out how to be more “volunteer-friendly,” with flexibility often being the biggest asset.

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Volunteers clean up Sugar Beach during the annual Hands Across the Sand event http://www.maticezasovska.cz/volunteers-clean-up-sugar-beach-during-the-annual-hands-across-the-sand-event/ Mon, 23 May 2022 01:03:00 +0000 http://www.maticezasovska.cz/volunteers-clean-up-sugar-beach-during-the-annual-hands-across-the-sand-event/ Hands Across the Sand and Beach Cleanup in Sugar Beach, Maui. (5.21.22) PC: Surfrider Maui The Surfrider Foundation – Maui Chapter held a beach cleanup and Hands Across the Sand event at Maui’s Sugar Beach on Saturday. Dozens of local residents and visitors volunteered at the event and filled a 10 cubic meter dumpster in […]]]>

Hands Across the Sand and Beach Cleanup in Sugar Beach, Maui. (5.21.22) PC: Surfrider Maui

The Surfrider Foundation – Maui Chapter held a beach cleanup and Hands Across the Sand event at Maui’s Sugar Beach on Saturday.

Dozens of local residents and visitors volunteered at the event and filled a 10 cubic meter dumpster in less than three hours with trash that was once strewn along the beach.

Hands Across the Sand and Beach Cleanup in Sugar Beach, Maui. (5.21.22) PC: Surfrider Maui

“We are grateful to the volunteers and the Surfrider Foundation for cleaning up Sugar Beach and making Maui a better place,” said Timothy Lara of Hawaiian Paddle Sports, who sponsored the event. “It’s always telling to see how much rubbish and debris is left along the shore. We are confident that events like these will motivate people to act responsibly and also help shape environmental policy.

Hands Across the Sand and Beach Cleanup in Sugar Beach, Maui. (5.21.22) PC: Surfrider Maui

The most common items picked up during cleanup were cigarette butts (494), plastic fragments smaller than a penny (163), foam fragments larger than a penny (120), plastic fragments bigger than a penny (103), paper towels (95), plastic drink bottles (69), foam fragments under a penny (68), plastic bottle caps and rings (49) , glass fragments (47) and plastic food packaging (47). Larger items such as car parts, tires and lawn chairs were also found.

The Hands Across the Sand is an annual global event that has taken place in over 100 locations around the world on the same day to embrace clean energy locally, nationally and globally.

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“The message is simple: no to dirty fuels and yes to clean energy,” said event organizers. “These gatherings have drawn metaphorical and real lines in the sand; human lines in the sand against the threat of dirty fuels.

Hands Across the Sand and Beach Cleanup in Sugar Beach, Maui. (5.21.22) PC: Surfrider Maui
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The Maui event was sponsored by Hawaiian Paddle Sports as part of its monthly Mālama Maui community giving program.

To learn more about upcoming Surfrider Maui beach cleanups and other ways to volunteer with the chapter, visit maui.surfrider.org.

Hands Across the Sand and Beach Cleanup in Sugar Beach, Maui. (5.21.22) PC: Surfrider Maui

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Arlington Track Seeking Volunteers | Sports http://www.maticezasovska.cz/arlington-track-seeking-volunteers-sports/ Sat, 21 May 2022 09:30:00 +0000 http://www.maticezasovska.cz/arlington-track-seeking-volunteers-sports/ MANCHESTER – Arlington Athletics is looking for volunteers as the program prepares to host the Division IV Athletics meet at Knapp Field in Manchester for the second consecutive year on Saturday, June 4. The Eagles are looking for help in the following areas: • Two volunteers to help the officials running the competition. • Volunteers […]]]>

MANCHESTER – Arlington Athletics is looking for volunteers as the program prepares to host the Division IV Athletics meet at Knapp Field in Manchester for the second consecutive year on Saturday, June 4.

The Eagles are looking for help in the following areas:

• Two volunteers to help the officials running the competition.

• Volunteers to sell Vermont Principal’s Association (VPA) State Meet t-shirts throughout the meet.

• Sale of tickets at the entrance to the event.

• Four or five high school students who are not on the track team and need community service (you will be told how long it takes to get to the field and the hours worked). We may need you to rake the long jump pits, clear obstacles on and off the track, and pass messages and waters to the officials throughout the competition.

Arlington also needs help parking its cars, among a few other responsibilities throughout the competition.

Arlington track coach Seth Woodman is grateful for the support of volunteers last year and hopes for a similar response this year.

“I appreciate your help and consideration. These kinds of events would not be possible without the help and hard work of our community. Our student-athletes appreciate all of your support and efforts in making this event possible,” Woodman said.

The meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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Red Cross volunteers from across the United States mobilize in Buffalo http://www.maticezasovska.cz/red-cross-volunteers-from-across-the-united-states-mobilize-in-buffalo/ Thu, 19 May 2022 16:22:00 +0000 http://www.maticezasovska.cz/red-cross-volunteers-from-across-the-united-states-mobilize-in-buffalo/ BUFFALO, NY – The Red Cross of Western New York says volunteers are mobilizing from across the country to help in Buffalo following a tragic shooting in Tops on Jefferson Avenue that left 10 dead and three injured . Their mission is to help the families of the victims and the whole community, in partnership […]]]>

BUFFALO, NY – The Red Cross of Western New York says volunteers are mobilizing from across the country to help in Buffalo following a tragic shooting in Tops on Jefferson Avenue that left 10 dead and three injured .

Their mission is to help the families of the victims and the whole community, in partnership with other organizations to distribute groceries.

“Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to the residents of the City of Buffalo and all those affected by the tragic shooting on Saturday,” said Meg Rossman, American Red Cross spokesperson for the Buffalo area. western New York. “It is the mission of the Red Cross to bring help and hope to those in need in their darkest hours. At the request of law enforcement, volunteers from the American Red Cross of Western New York and dozens of others across the country have stepped up to support victims and their families, emergency responders and the community at large.”

The Red Cross also offers spiritual and mental health care and other health services at the Jonnie B. Wiley Pavilion on Jefferson Avenue.

“These ongoing efforts include working with partner agencies to assist with the distribution of groceries to the community, the provision of Individual Disaster Care (IDC) including spiritual care, mental health care, emotional support and other health services at the Wiley Pavilion, attending vigils to provide water, snacks and disaster support, staffing community resource centers and connecting with members of the local faith community to support community initiatives,” Rossman said.

The Red Cross says it will continue its response efforts until its services are no longer needed.

“The Red Cross will continue to be part of this community response until our services are no longer needed and will continue to stand ready to meet any needs that may arise in the weeks and months ahead,” Rossman continued. .

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Tennessee Volunteers and Virginia Cavaliers to open 2023 college football season in Nashville http://www.maticezasovska.cz/tennessee-volunteers-and-virginia-cavaliers-to-open-2023-college-football-season-in-nashville/ Tue, 17 May 2022 04:20:54 +0000 http://www.maticezasovska.cz/tennessee-volunteers-and-virginia-cavaliers-to-open-2023-college-football-season-in-nashville/ Tennessee and Virginia will square off to open the 2023 college football season at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, the schools announced Monday. The Volunteers were originally scheduled to play BYU in Provo, Utah as the season opener, but the Cougars are now expected to officially begin playing as members of the Big 12 next season, […]]]>

Tennessee and Virginia will square off to open the 2023 college football season at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, the schools announced Monday.

The Volunteers were originally scheduled to play BYU in Provo, Utah as the season opener, but the Cougars are now expected to officially begin playing as members of the Big 12 next season, revamping their future schedule.

“Pivoting to face a big name non-conference opponent in Nashville made sense for several reasons,” Tennessee athletic director Danny White said in a statement. “It’s a more accessible game for our fan base. I expect we’ll have a much bigger fan contingent in Nashville than we could have gotten to Utah.”

Tennessee has opened the season at Nissan Stadium – home of the NFL’s Tennessee Titans – twice before, both against Pool 5 opponents. Virginia last played there in 2005, beating Minnesota at the Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl.

Tennessee and Virginia haven’t met on the court since 1991, when the Volunteers upset the Cavaliers 23-22 in the Sugar Bowl after Tony Thompson scored with 31 seconds left in the game.

It is the fifth all-time meeting for the two teams, with the Vols holding a 3-1 advantage.

Last week, BYU also canceled its annual game against Utah State for the foreseeable future, canceling scheduled 2023-2026 contests for Big 12 membership.

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Altru Dietitians Volunteer at Hope Community Care Center & Food Pantry to Fight Food Insecurity – Grand Forks Herald http://www.maticezasovska.cz/altru-dietitians-volunteer-at-hope-community-care-center-food-pantry-to-fight-food-insecurity-grand-forks-herald/ Sun, 15 May 2022 12:07:00 +0000 http://www.maticezasovska.cz/altru-dietitians-volunteer-at-hope-community-care-center-food-pantry-to-fight-food-insecurity-grand-forks-herald/ GRAND FORKS — Altru dietitians have been volunteering at Hope Community Care Center & Food Pantry and LaGrave on First through the Prescription Nutrition Program since the fall of 2021. Typically, volunteers will be at each location on the first and third Wednesday of each month between 10 a.m. and noon. A volunteer will set […]]]>

GRAND FORKS — Altru dietitians have been volunteering at Hope Community Care Center & Food Pantry and LaGrave on First through the Prescription Nutrition Program since the fall of 2021.

Typically, volunteers will be at each location on the first and third Wednesday of each month between 10 a.m. and noon. A volunteer will set up a table there to meet food pantry participants to educate them about the healthy food choices available to them.

With funds from the Altru Foundation, Prescription Nutrition, based on the “Fresh Food Farmacy” concept of the Geisinger Health Program, was born. It was created to make healthy foods more accessible and appealing to those who are food insecure in order to promote healthy lifestyles and improve access to healthy foods.

When people come to use the Hope Community Care Center & Food Pantry, a volunteer screens them to find out their needs and if they have any concerns about any conditions they may have, such as pre-diabetes, hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. . Volunteers also check to see if participants have access to other food sources besides a pantry, as well as if they need help getting food or finding nutrition education.

Sam Rongstad, an Altru volunteer at the Hope Community Care Center & Food Pantry, said it was organized like a grocery store.

“What we could do, and what we’ve offered in the past, is walk them around while they shop, talk about their health and nutrition concerns, and then give them (give) some advice if they’re looking for that,” Rongstad said.

Once the screening period is over, Rongstad said the plan is to provide additional screenings for blood pressure and blood sugar.

“Then we can provide them with education, either by talking to them one-on-one about their concerns and giving them nutrition education, or also providing them with nutrition materials that they can take with them,” Rongstad said.

Dietitians also promote a specific recipe each month when they are in the pantry. Rongstad said he discussed recipes with Melanie Newman-Morrow, assistant director of the Hope Community Care Center & Food Pantry. Usually the recipes include dry goods, such as beans, lentils, pasta or canned tuna or canned chicken and are simple to prepare.

“(We) create healthier meals that people walking into the pantry can try at home,” Rongstad said.

According to Rongstad, the biggest issue facing food insecure people in Grand Forks is access to healthy, non-perishable produce. While canned fruits and vegetables can be healthy, she said it comes down to the healthiest food options and shelf life.

Those who visit a food pantry may only have access to it occasionally, sometimes even once a month. Rongstad said those people would likely choose to buy items that would last at least until they can visit a pantry again — things like dry pasta, bread and freezer items.

Not having the proper appliances needed to cook certain foods is also a problem. Rongstad said some people frequenting the pantries clashed.

“Fresh produce is something they probably won’t go first,” Rongstad said. “One, because it’s not going to last long, and two, because sometimes they don’t even know what to do with it – how to break it down, how to season it (and) how to prepare it. So that’s another reason why we provide them with these recipes.

Rongstad said that to his knowledge, about 200 or more people regularly use the Hope Community Care Center & Food Pantry. So what can people do to help or get involved?

“The Hope Food Pantry is always looking for volunteers to help pass through and shop with their customers as they walk in,” Rongstad said. “In fact, volunteering at one of the pantry would be very helpful, as they are always looking for that community involvement.”

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8-year-old helps volunteer firefighters with lemonade stand http://www.maticezasovska.cz/8-year-old-helps-volunteer-firefighters-with-lemonade-stand/ Fri, 13 May 2022 21:28:00 +0000 http://www.maticezasovska.cz/8-year-old-helps-volunteer-firefighters-with-lemonade-stand/ BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) – A lemonade stand was set up for a good cause in Lumberport today. 5’s John Blashke has the heartwarming story. Avery, 8, had to leave school early today to help with a lemonade stand. She had been looking to do something like this for a while. “In fact, when I was […]]]>

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) – A lemonade stand was set up for a good cause in Lumberport today.

5’s John Blashke has the heartwarming story.

Avery, 8, had to leave school early today to help with a lemonade stand. She had been looking to do something like this for a while.

“In fact, when I was little, I had the inspiration to make lemonade, but I couldn’t because I didn’t know where – and at what price – I would sell it – and, but now I’m older and it just came to me because when I was little I had the inspiration,” Avery said.

Eventually the opportunity presented itself and Avery was able to achieve his goal, but this is no ordinary lemonade stand.

Avery raises money for the Lumberport Volunteer Fire Department so they can get a video laryngoscope. It is a device that will help intubate people who have difficulty breathing.

Avery’s aunt, Darlene Scott, volunteers for the department. She says that with the help of her salesman, they will be able to buy one.

“Yeah, an 8-year-old girl does pretty well with sales,” Scott said.

“I mean, I’ve always wanted to sell something… But I’m trying to make a thousand!” says Avery.

Avery says she really likes helping people and when she grows up she wants to be a nurse.

For now, she’ll help out by selling lemonade.

In just a few hours, Avery was able to help raise hundreds of dollars for the department.

Reporting in Lumberport John Blashke 5 news.

Copyright 2022 WD TV. All rights reserved.

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YVSC is looking for volunteers to help restore Yampa Valley wetlands and wildlife habitat http://www.maticezasovska.cz/yvsc-is-looking-for-volunteers-to-help-restore-yampa-valley-wetlands-and-wildlife-habitat/ Thu, 12 May 2022 00:53:38 +0000 http://www.maticezasovska.cz/yvsc-is-looking-for-volunteers-to-help-restore-yampa-valley-wetlands-and-wildlife-habitat/ Yampa Valley Climate Crew volunteers pose for a photo above a rock dam they created during a previous project with the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council. YVSC is looking for volunteers in Moffat County to help with other projects this summer.YVSC/Courtesy photo The Yampa Valley Sustainability Council is looking for volunteers to roll up their sleeves […]]]>

Yampa Valley Climate Crew volunteers pose for a photo above a rock dam they created during a previous project with the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council. YVSC is looking for volunteers in Moffat County to help with other projects this summer.
YVSC/Courtesy photo

The Yampa Valley Sustainability Council is looking for volunteers to roll up their sleeves and help with a few projects this summer supporting healthy rivers and land stewardship in Moffat County.

The purpose of this program, the Yampa Valley Climate Teamis to connect community members to stewardship and conservation efforts in the area.

Ryan Messinger, the team coordinator, said that over the past year YVSC has been working on land restoration projects in Moffat County and many volunteers have come from Routt County to help. Messinger wants the people of Craig to know these projects are happening so they can get involved.



Over the past few years, YVSC has worked to expand more services and outreach to Moffat County. Having more Moffat County volunteers will increase YVSC’s ability to support more projects in the Yampa Valley.

“I know there are a lot of people in Craig who are really passionate about keeping the land pristine, and there are a lot of landowners who have seen their land degrade over the years,” Messinger said.



There will be three key projects coming this summer that Moffat County residents may be interested in.

From July 16-19, YVSC will be working on a wetland grassland restoration project at Visintainer Ranch outside of Craig near the Wyman Museum.

The project will address wetlands and riparian areas that have been compromised by erosion and low water tables, which are likely to be further damaged by drought and high-intensity rainstorms associated with climate change.

To address these challenges, simple restoration methods called “mono-rock dams” will be used to raise the water table and restore sagebrush habitat in wetlands and riparian areas. The project will restore vital ecosystem for carbon storage and important wildlife habitat, including sage grouse, migratory birds, elk and mule deer.

The Visintainer property is privately owned but is often used for hunting and camping with the owners permission. Volunteers working with YVSC are welcome to camp during the project on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and the nights before and after the project on Wednesday and Sunday evenings.

The Yampa Valley Climate Crew is working on a reforestation project, which increases shade, helps prevent erosion and better protects fish populations.
YVSC/Courtesy photo

Later in the summer, YVSC will work on a reforestation project on Lower Elkhead Creek, a nine-mile stretch of creek below Elkhead Reservoir where YVSC will plant poplars, alders, willows and chokecherries. This will be another opportunity for volunteers to come and participate. Last year, YVSC had 40 volunteers who helped plant over 1,000 trees as part of this project.

Over the years, landowners have noticed bank erosion and habitat degradation along this stretch of the creek. Landowners are partnering with YVSC and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to plant trees to help stabilize the shoreline and restore riparian habitats.

Reforestation along Elkhead Creek will help prevent erosion and protect native fish populations. The shade provided by the trees will also help cool the river, which has had problems with high temperatures in recent years.

Organizers say any work done on this section of the waterway will benefit the entire river system.

“What happens upstream affects what happens downstream,” Messinger said. “And what happens on the tributaries of the river also affects the river downstream.”

Projects on private land also affect rivers and streams in other publicly accessible areas, Messinger explained.

Yampa Valley Climate Crew volunteers work on a reforestation project along the Yampa River.
YVSC/Courtesy photo

There will also be a Wet Meadow Restoration Project in California Park north of Hayden in August. California Park is a public forest commonly used for camping. This project will be similar to the Visintainer Ranch Wetland Restoration and will have similar benefits.

“If you live next to the river or use it recreationally, you may have seen the degradation of the river and land and you may not feel like you have the power to do anything about it,” Messinger said. “It gives people a chance to do something about it.”

Volunteers can learn more about Yampa Valley Climate Crew and sign up for projects at YVSC.org below “To be involved.” Registration is currently open for the June project at Visintainer Ranch, other projects will be released as dates and details are confirmed.

“What comes with volunteering for these projects is the feeling of satisfaction for the work you’ve done,” Messinger said, “especially planting trees on Elk Head Creek, you’ll be able to come back in back and see what you’ve done.”

There is also a strong community aspect to volunteering for YVSC projects, as it brings together people from the community who care about the environment and want to get out and help.

The volunteers stop for a moment as they work on a previous project led by the Yampa Valley Sustainability Council. YVSC is looking for volunteers in Moffat County to help with projects this summer.
YVSC/Courtesy photo

A Yampa Valley Climate Crew volunteer plants a tree along Lower Elk Head Creek.
YVSC/Courtesy photo

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Volunteers wanted for cleanup at Blanchester IOOF Cemetery on Saturday http://www.maticezasovska.cz/volunteers-wanted-for-cleanup-at-blanchester-ioof-cemetery-on-saturday/ Tue, 10 May 2022 14:17:43 +0000 http://www.maticezasovska.cz/volunteers-wanted-for-cleanup-at-blanchester-ioof-cemetery-on-saturday/ BLANCHESTER — With a change in ownership, a local graveyard needs tidying up. A Community Service Day is scheduled for Saturday, May 14 to clean up the IOOF Cemetery and prepare it for Memorial Day. The cemetery in the village of Blanchester was operated and maintained by the IOOF Lodge. The village was informed in […]]]>

BLANCHESTER — With a change in ownership, a local graveyard needs tidying up.

A Community Service Day is scheduled for Saturday, May 14 to clean up the IOOF Cemetery and prepare it for Memorial Day.

The cemetery in the village of Blanchester was operated and maintained by the IOOF Lodge.

The village was informed in November that the IOOF lodge in Blanchester was closed.

“Because the Village is required by state law to take over the operation and maintenance of the cemetery, our attorney and the IOOF attorney worked to prepare the deed ownership of the property,” Mayor John Carman said in a news release.

The village became the provisional owner on April 21 at a special council meeting. Due to the timing of this action, the village was unable to take a leap on mowing until recently.

“We ask for your patience and understanding during this time,” Carman said. “We will do our best as we go through this transition period.”

All hands are needed to shape the cemetery, and volunteers are asked to bring rakes, wheelbarrows and weed trimmers if possible.

Volunteers will meet at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the new Blanchester Eagles building 2222 at 210 Lazenby St. Lunch will be provided by the Blanchester Eagles.

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Ukrainian volunteers make armor and camouflage – Twin Cities http://www.maticezasovska.cz/ukrainian-volunteers-make-armor-and-camouflage-twin-cities/ Sun, 08 May 2022 17:30:32 +0000 http://www.maticezasovska.cz/ukrainian-volunteers-make-armor-and-camouflage-twin-cities/ By ELENA BECATOROS ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine (AP) — Sparks fly as a circular saw slices through metal, while nearby welders work feverishly to the sound of heavy metal. Upstairs, sewing machines rattle as women mark designs on garments fashioned into bulletproof vests. A former industrial complex in the river town of Zaporizhzhia in southeastern Ukraine has […]]]>

By ELENA BECATOROS

ZAPORIZHZHIA, Ukraine (AP) — Sparks fly as a circular saw slices through metal, while nearby welders work feverishly to the sound of heavy metal. Upstairs, sewing machines rattle as women mark designs on garments fashioned into bulletproof vests.

A former industrial complex in the river town of Zaporizhzhia in southeastern Ukraine has become a hive of activity for volunteers, producing everything from body armor and anti-tank barriers to camouflage netting, to portable heating stoves and rifle slings for Ukrainian soldiers fighting the invasion of Russia. A section specializes in vehicles, armoring some, transforming others into ambulances. Another organizes food and medical deliveries.

With the frontline about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the city, some sections of the operation, such as body armor sewing, are operating around the clock in shifts to keep up with demand. The crowdfunding raised enough money to buy Swedish, Finnish and Belgian steel, which organizers say is lighter than local steel, a crucial quality for body armor.

The operation is the brainchild of local celebrity Vasyl Busharov and his friend Hennadii Vovchenko, who ran a furniture manufacturing business. They named it Palianytsia, a type of Ukrainian bread whose name, according to many Ukrainians, cannot be pronounced correctly by Russians.

The operation relies entirely on volunteers, who today number more than 400 and come from all walks of life, from tailors to craftsmen and lawyers. In addition to those involved in production, there are also drivers who deliver humanitarian aid and medical equipment purchased with donations.

“I feel like I’m needed here,” said fashion designer Olena Grekova, 52, taking a brief break from marking fabric for vests.

When Russia invaded on February 24, she was in Thailand seeking inspiration for her spring collection. At first, she says, she wondered if it was a sign from God that she shouldn’t come back. Her husband and two adult sons urged her not to.

“But I made the decision to go back,” she said.

She had known Busharov for years. Arriving home on March 3, she gathered her equipment the next day and on March 5 was in Palianytsia. She has worked there every day since, except one, sometimes even at night.

Going from designing backless prom dresses to creating functional body armor was “a new experience for me,” Grekova said. But she sought feedback from soldiers for her designs, to which armor plates were added. Now she helps produce several versions, including a prototype summer vest.

In another section of the industrial complex, Ihor Prytula, 55, was busy making a new camouflage netting, wrapping pieces of dyed fabric through a string frame. A cabinetmaker by trade, he joined Palianytsia at the start of the war. He had some military experience, he said, so it was easy to get feedback from soldiers on what they needed.

“We speak the same language,” he said.

For Prytula, war is personal. His 27-year-old son was killed in late March while helping to evacuate residents of the northern town of Chernihiv.

“War and death is bad, believe me, I know that,” he said. “It’s bad, it’s tears, it’s heartbreak.”

The call for volunteers was launched at the start of the war. Busharov announced his project on Facebook on February 25. The next day, 50 people showed up. “The next day 150 people, the next day 300 people. … And all together we try (to) protect our city.

They started making Molovov cocktails in case Russian soldiers advanced on Zaporizhzhia. In 10 days, they produced 14,000, he said. Then they turned to producing anti-tank obstacles called hedgehogs – three large metal beams welded together at angles – used as part of the city’s defenses. Soon, Busharov and Vovchenko said, they discovered another pressing need: there were not enough bulletproof vests for Ukrainian soldiers.

But learning to make something so specialized wasn’t easy.

“I was not related to the military at all,” Vovchenko said. “It took two days and three sleepless nights to figure out what to do.”

The team went through different types of steel, making plates and testing them for bullet penetration. Some did not offer sufficient protection, others were too heavy to be functional. Then they had a breakthrough.

“It turns out that the steel used for the suspension of the cars has very good properties for bullet penetration,” Vovchenko said, standing in front of four shelves of test plates with varying degrees of bullet damage. The one made of car suspension steel showed dozens of bullet marks but none penetrated.

Vests and everything made in Palianytsia are provided free of charge to soldiers who request them, provided they can prove that they are in the army. Each plate is numbered and each vest has a tag indicating that it is not for sale.

So far, Palianytsia has produced 1,800 body armor in two months, Busharov said, adding that there was a waiting list of around 2,000 more from across Ukraine.

Vovchenko said he heard of up to 300 people whose lives were saved by the vests.

Knowing that is “incredibly inspiring and keeps us going,” he said.

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Inna Varenytsia in Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, contributed.

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Follow all AP stories on the war in Ukraine at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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