In my minds-eye, I see a Russian tank driving directly toward my father when he was 18. He told us the story many times as a child. After surviving the Holocaust as a child in hiding, he grew up in the aftermath of the war and the Russian Invasion. He escaped on a Red Cross bus and came to the US under Political Asylum in 1956 during the Hungarian Revolution. People helped him. I am grateful to Jewish Social Services and the family that took him in.
This was never supposed to happen again. But it is happening and we have to make the call to be 'watchers' or ' warriors' somehow. In our companies, in our communities, with our own families, we need to gain awareness and translate that knowledge into understanding, compassion, and action. Some will choose apathy as well.
I think of the news last night where refugees got off buses in Poland and people were holding up signs offering bedrooms, cash, food, supplies. Save the Children was there offering psychological support, logistic support, and more.
I remember myself walking the streets of NY on 9-11 for six hours (I was at a conference a few blocks from the World Trade Towers). People with signs offering cellphones, water, and support. The kindness of New Yorkers touched me deeply. The memory gives me peace, we will do the right thing. Today someone on LinkedIn sent me a site called www.Wehelpukraine.org matching citizens who want to help globally and refugees in need. (Disclaimer: It's a little glitchy on my computer but seems credible and worth checking out.) I started a mental calculation of how much space we have and could we sleep a family of 2, 4. I also took a good look at a donation to HAIS that helps refugees and has been around since before WWI (over 130 years). I want to share this from their website:
"HIAS has a long history of working in Ukraine, and since 2013 has been operating in partnership with the Ukrainian organization Right to Protection (R2P). R2P’s staff, many of whom are displaced persons themselves, are currently focused on assisting those looking to flee Ukraine with obtaining documentation and cash-based assistance for the journey."
Eleanor Roosevelt said once, and it has been paraphrased from the original quote (above) that a woman is like a teabag. You never know her true strength until she is in hot water.
LADIES, WE ARE IN HOT WATER NOW
TWO MILLION Refugees and Growing...
And each of us TWO Hands to help lift them up and TWO Shoulders for them to lean on
Julie Kantor is the founding CEO of Twomentor Managed Mentoring Solutions (now merged with top organizational change management firm Change 4 Growth). She lives in Boca Raton FL with her husband Marc, daughter, rescue pup Luci and Naomi. She can be reached at email@example.com
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