‘Be a part of the solution’: Atlantic Beach collects donations to help refugees from Ukraine

The city of Atlantic Beach is helping refugees who have settled in northeast Florida, after having fled the war in Ukraine. The collection drive is taking place at Jack Russell Park in Atlantic Beach.

ATLANTIC BEACH, Fla. – The city of Atlantic Beach is stepping in to help refugees who have fled the war in Ukraine and are making Northeast Florida their home.

The city is asking for donations of all kinds near City Hall on Saturday.

The supplies collected will be used to furnish apartments for families coming from Ukraine.

The collection for Catholic Charities started Friday and ran all day as people dropped off items.

“These people have nothing. They are coming from a war-torn country and they are just settling in our country where they have no establishment and foundation,” said Alan, who dropped off supplies on Saturday.

A 20-foot truck was filled with supplies collected on the first day of the drive -- so many things that the city had to rent a second 26-foot truck to put all of the other donations in.

The most needed items are new or hardly used small appliances, bathroom, kitchen and cleaning supplies, car seats and necessities for babies.

Atlantic Beach is hosting a donation drive for Catholic Charities to help Ukraine refugees.

The donations on the trucks are expected to help at least 100 people.

Lisa Araneta made a contribution from items that came from her late mother’s home.

“I was cleaning out her home and she had a lot of wonderful, useful things and I did not want to see them go to a landfill. It was very important that they did not go to a landfill. I’m really happy that they can be used for somebody else,” said Araneta. “Any time that you can give back to the community, it is very uplifting.”

Atlantic Beach Deputy City Manager Kevin Hogencamp thinks this was the perfect way to make a difference.

“Humanity is more special than we can ever give credit for. We step up for fellow human beings and we do not need to forget that while the noise is happening,” Hogencamp said.

Nisha Patel had a car load of items to fill kitchen cabinets.

“We are so fortunate to have what we have and we have it in abundance,” Patel said. “We see it in our own country when people lose everything in hurricanes and storms. We just wanted to reach out and be a part of the solution to helping people.”

The city of Atlantic Beach is requesting people not to bring furniture, clothes, or food to the donation.

You can find a full supply list and more information at www.coab.us/ukraine.

You can drop off any donations at Jack Russell Park in Atlantic Beach from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The supplies collected will be delivered to Catholic Charities on Monday.

If you’d like to order new items, there is an “AB Loves Ukraine” Amazon link. The city said you can drop them at City Hall and they will be transported to Catholic Charities at a later time.

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