If you remember a few weeks ago we wrote about Maksim, who has been delivering food to families in Ukraine. We are so happy that we have been able to help as much as we can with providing funds to deliver food, and now we have another opportunity to make an impact.
Meet Samantha. She lives in Bologna, Italy, and when she saw the news she felt compelled to do something. Living so close to the crisis and in an area that was seeing a large influx of refugees, she decided to list her apartment on a site dedicated to housing people fleeing Ukraine. Living in a small city like Bologna she didn’t think it would get much interest. But she listed her apartment at 11 pm and by 6 am she had a list of people requesting to stay.
As the weeks passed, she kept seeing more and more refugees come in and realized she wanted to do more. She put a call out to a local university to see if any students would be willing to use their apartments over spring break to house refugees, and the response was overwhelming. She had dozens of students willing to hand over their keys and house people.
What started as a single act of kindness has now turned into so much more. (Sound familiar? 😉 ) Samantha, along with the help of a whole group of university students in Bologna, have now housed over 80 people fleeing the crisis in Ukraine. And this means so much more than just a roof over their heads. Any Lasagna Love volunteer or recipient will tell you that a home cooked meal is so much more than just food; similarly an apartment is so much more than a place to stay. It’s kindness. It’s love. It creates a connection between two strangers. And the same can be said for providing a shelter. Samantha and these students are opening their homes to complete strangers, out of kindness and love for a fellow human being.
“You get immediately close with the families. You sit down for a meal, hear their stories, and realize these are people just like me who just had a horrible situation happen to them.”
When we were connected with Samantha, we knew we wanted to help somehow, and what better way to help than with food. Donations to our Ukraine fund will be passed on to Samantha and her team to help feed the families they are housing. In addition we have opened up our volunteer sign up in Bologna, Italy for anyone local to help cook meals for refugees.