The Western Maine Friends of Ukrainians meeting Aug. 8

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The village of Brustury in the Carpathian Mountain region of Kosmach, Ukraine. (Photo courtesy of Janine Winn)

FARMINGTON – The community group that is exploring the possibility of sponsoring Ukrainian displaced people in the Farmington area now has a name. The Western Maine Friends of Ukrainians will be meeting at 4 p.m. on the second Monday of each month at St. Joseph’s Church on Middle Street in Farmington. We will meet in the lower level Gathering Area and the next meeting is on Aug. 8.

In June, several members of the group attended an online presentation organized by the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Alliance for Ukraine that focused on group sponsorship of refugees. This presentation will be discussed at the meeting and small workgroups will be formed to delve more deeply into specific tasks.

Community participation is invited. Even if you can’t host a family or be a financial sponsor there are so many other things that need to be done when a family arrives – taking them to appointments, being a friend to them, helping with childcare, helping them fill in forms, arranging for English lessons, arranging for a child to get into the local school system, setting them up with a primary care physician (they will be eligible for Medicaid), navigating government websites to make sure they get what they are eligible for. Fortunately, RPCV Alliance for Ukraine has a lot of very knowledgeable people who can provide guidance and support to sponsor circles.

If you feel you might be able to help in some way if families come to this area, please consider coming along to the next meeting on Aug. 8. You can call Janine Winn at 578-8220 or email if you have questions.

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