Local Rotary Club Member Returns from Work with Ukrainian Refugees in Poland

Rotary Clubs in Poland, coupled with others across the world, have helped raise $150,000 of the $300,000 needed to start a mental health center.

DULUTH, Minn.- A member of the Duluth Skyline Rotary Club returned from Poland to continue raising money to establish a mental health center for Ukrainian refugee kids caught up in the turmoil of Russia’s invasion of their country.

Bob Sherman traveled to Poland in March to see firsthand the needs of the millions of Ukrainian refugees who fled there.

It was a scary sight, Sherman said his eyes would be to the skies, constantly hearing missiles overhead. “The air raid alarms go off unpredictably every day. People there are so numb to hearing air raid sirens right now.”

After meeting with Rotary Clubs and humanitarians on the ground, he encountered families with children who witnessed their parents dying, and then had to travel hundreds of miles from their homes.

So the Rotary Clubs in Poland, coupled with others across the world, have helped raise $150,000 of the $300,000 needed to start a mental health center.

According to Sherman, it will be staffed with 4 specialists hired by a partnering university, and will also offer daycare services.

“It’s critical. I mean, can you imagine your child coming home with a vision of that? They’re never going to be cured of that,” said Sherman. “All we can do is teach them resiliency, all we can do is help them with the nightmares.”

He said the refugee camp he visited had roughly 265 housed there.

Sherman says you can head to the Duluth Skyline Rotary Club website to donate, and all the money will go straight to rotary clubs on the ground in Poland.

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