MHA Unites for Ukraine, Invites Community to Assist

SPRINGFIELD — The Mental Health Assoc. (MHA) is partnering with Full Gospel Church in Westfield in collecting over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies, as well as donations of non-perishable food and personal items, such as new clothing and diapers in all sizes, that will be boxed and flown to Poland for distribution to Ukrainian citizens along the 300-mile border between the two countries.

More than two million people have fled Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion on Feb. 24, creating what the United Nations has called the greatest refugee crisis in Europe since the start of World War II. It is estimated that more than 1 million people have crossed into Poland, making it the country to accept the largest number of refugees to date.

“MHA is very proud to be helping in this small way to provide essential items for the people of Ukraine,” said Kimberley Lee, vice president of Resource Development and Branding, of the ongoing emergency donation drive for Ukrainians. “Our staff is eager to react in a way that is helpful and which sends the message that we care, are concerned and committed to assisting in whatever way we can to support them.”

Medical donations needed include non-prescription medications for pain and fever like Tylenol (acetaminophen), anti-inflammatories like Advil (ibuprofen), and antihistamines like Benadryl pills for allergies. Pepto-Bismol chewables, saline eye drops, and anti-itch (hydrocortisone) 1% topical cream are also needed, as well as items for burn care, including triple-antibiotic ointment, plastic wrap like Saran, and Burnaid.

Large safety pins, tweezers, gauze, medical adhesive tape rolls, adhesive bandages in several sizes, and medical-grade scissors, sometimes referred to as EMS or trauma shears, are also requested, as well as toothpaste, soap, and bedding.

Items may be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays at MHA’s offices at 995 Worthington St., Springfield. The donations will be brought to the Westfield parish to be packaged for delivery. For more information, e-mail Lee at klee@mhainc.org or call (413) 233-5343.