A Catholic priest with Ukrainian refugees.
Father Marek Machala spent his 20th ordination anniversary meeting with Ukrainian refugees at a reception center in Poland.

Aid Delivered to Ukraine’s Families — And How You Can Help

Heartbreaking stories continue to emerge from war-torn Ukraine, where millions of people have been forced to leave everything behind simply to survive. According to the United Nations, more than half of Ukraine’s displaced families include children and the elderly, and the threat of malnutrition grows by the day.

Even as they struggle through this great tragedy, Ukraine’s families are seeing signs of hope thanks to the generosity of Cross Catholic Outreach supporters like you who serve Christ in the vulnerable.

In this article, you will:

  • Meet a Ukrainian child and a refugee family blessed through the generosity of Cross Catholic Outreach supporters.
  • Learn more about the Catholic Church’s response to help Ukraine’s refugees and internally displaced people.
  • Find out how you can help Ukraine’s refugees and internally displaced people.
Ambulance in Ukraine.
Our Catholic partners have purchased and delivered ambulances such as this one to save lives in Ukraine.

Anya’s Rescue in War-Torn Ukraine

Frightened 10-year-old Anya was dying in her father’s arms, and there seemed little hope any help would come. She and her father were victims of the violence in Lviv, Ukraine, and the chaos in the city made transporting her to a hospital by foot or public transportation next to impossible.

We can’t show you her face, but Anya’s story is so compelling that it brought one of our Ukrainian partners to tears.

Henry Capello, president and CEO of Caritas in Veritate, tells us that one of the biggest problems aid workers face in Ukraine is the lack of ambulances and other transportation to rescue the sick and injured from isolated or war-ravaged locations. On top of that, many hospital emergency rooms have reported a lack of basic lifesaving supplies. So even when patients manage to reach a hospital, they may not receive the care they need.

With the help of Cross Catholic Outreach, Caritas in Veritate was able to purchase and equip an ambulance in Lviv. That ambulance came to Anya’s rescue, and by God’s grace she is recovering from her injuries. Her father sobbed tears of joy the minute he saw the ambulance arrive, because it gave him hope that his daughter’s life would be saved.

Give Now to Help Ukraine’s Children and Families

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A Ukrainian father, mother and six children eat a meal together.
Compassionate Cross Catholic Outreach supporters have provided comfort, food and the hope of Christ to families such as this one who were forced to flee Ukraine.

Catholics Help a Refugee Family in Poland

You’re looking at the first refugees — or as volunteers from the Archdiocese of Przemyśl prefer calling them, “welcomed guests” — of the Charity Center in Przemyśl, Poland! This family spent day and night hunkered down in a train station in their hometown of Mariupol, Ukraine, before arriving in Przemyśl.

Thanks to Cross Catholic Outreach supporters like you, this beautiful family of eight is receiving food, temporary living space (until the Charity Center can help find a more permanent home), trauma therapy, basic necessities and an abundance of spiritual support from our partner, the Archdiocese of Przemyśl. Through your continued support, Cross Catholic Outreach will be able to rescue more children and families in Ukraine and Eastern Europe who are in desperate need of God’s loving touch.

Pope Francis and Cardinal Konrad Krajewski stand outside an ambulance.
Pope Francis and Cardinal Konrad Krajewski inspect an ambulance that has since been delivered to Ukraine on behalf of the Holy Father.

The Catholic Church’s Response to Help Ukraine’s Families

As an official Catholic charity with over two decades of disaster relief experience, Cross Catholic Outreach is dedicated to mobilizing the global Catholic Church to bless the lives of the world’s poor and vulnerable.

We are working closely with Catholic bishops, dioceses and local parishes in Ukraine and Eastern Europe that have a strong understanding of the needs and challenges in the region, have a heart for serving those in desperate need, and have the ability to distribute aid through the Catholic Church network. Through these partnerships, we have successfully provided food, water, ambulances, generators and other relief supplies to shelters and hospitals in Ukraine and Eastern Europe. The generosity of faithful friends like you allows us to continue this important outreach and extend an even greater impact.

LEARN MORE: How to Help Ukraine Refugees and Internally Displaced Families

Catholics Making a Difference in Ukraine and Eastern Europe

Cross Catholic Outreach is supporting a network of Catholic partners in Ukraine and neighboring nations. Our partners include Cardinal Konrad Krajewski of the new Dicastery for the Service of Charity, formerly known as the Office of Papal Charities. This dicastery was established on June 5, 2022, and is the Holy Father’s special office for charitable outreach to the poor and marginalized. Through this partnership, Cross Catholic Outreach supporters have provided relief — including ambulances, generators, clothing and food — to families in Ukraine and refugees who have fled the country.

We’ve also partnered with Caritas in Veritate, a global confederation of Catholic institutions dedicated to bringing “charity in truth” by serving the world’s poor wherever they face discrimination. Caritas in Veritate has an active presence in Ukraine at three centers serving internally displaced children and families in the communities of Lutsk, Struga and Nowa Uszyca. Your support has provided much-needed food, water and spiritual support for Ukrainian families.

Our third partner is focused on the care and resettlement of Ukrainian refugees. The Archdiocese of Przemyśl, Poland, is located near the Ukrainian border and has helped hundreds of families at its receiving centers. Your help has empowered the archdiocese to offer food, temporary shelter and trauma therapy while local partners and volunteers help families secure permanent living arrangements, employment and school for children.

Finally, we are working to provide nutritious Vitafood meals to refugees. These protein-rich meal packs are specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs of the malnourished. Though we receive Vitafood from different sources, each source develops the Vitafood with three main components, including:

  • A rice or lentil base.
  • A protein (usually soy or beans).
  • Key vitamins to energize, strengthen and improve the health of malnourished children and families.

We are working to distribute 816,480 meals to refugee women and their families through church feeding programs, food pantries and other trusted local partners serving the growing food insecurity in the region.

LEARN MORE: Help Children and Families Hurting in Ukraine and Eastern Europe

People wave while standing outside a van.
Our partner in Poland is helping these Ukrainian refugees resettle in France.

You Can Help Ukraine’s Children and Families

Cross Catholic Outreach is deeply grateful for all the generous people who have stepped forward to be God’s instrument of mercy in Ukraine. This includes our ministry partners, their dedicated teams of religious and lay workers, and faithful friends like you. We ask for your continued prayers to end the war in Ukraine, as well as other conflicts around the world.

Together we have shared blessings with Ukraine’s refugees and internally displaced families, but the need continues to grow. By supporting Cross Catholic Outreach’s mission of mercy, you can help rush critical aid, including food, water, sanitary kits, ambulances and other relief.

Donate Monthly to Provide Lasting Hope

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Proceeds from this campaign will be used to cover any expenditures incurred through June 30, 2023, the close of our ministry’s fiscal year. In the event that more funds are raised than needed to fully fund the project, the excess funds, if any, will be used to meet the most urgent needs of the ministry.