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With Open Arms: How You’re Helping Families Forced to Flee their Homes

Our tears fell with yours as bombs rained down on Ukraine. Forced from their homes, refugees fleeing war travelled thousands of miles to reach our shores. This is how your generosity was there to welcome them with open arms and give them the practical relief and the comforts of home they've left behind...

You’ve seen the devastating footage — whole towns in Ukraine bombed to dust. Your heart has been broken by the little ones separated from their Daddies — the sweet kisses goodbye that could be their very last. When war forced millions to flee their homes, Ireland was one of the first countries to fling her doors wide open to welcome people seeking refuge. But when they arrived, heartbroken and homesick, they had nothing. And Government support would take time. That’s when our SVP volunteers sprang into action. Your generosity did the rest…

2,000 Miles from Home

"We had to move fast. There was such a sudden need from people coming from Ukraine," says Paddy, an SVP volunteer in Cork for the past 16 years. "They were in urgent need of the basics — clothes, nappies, underwear..."

"We're giving them SVP vouchers so they can come to the shop and pick what they need. People are so filled with gratitude."

It's thanks to our network of volunteers in every county — caring people like you — SVP is uniquely placed to deliver frontline help in times of crisis. For people like Katia, who arrived in Kerry with her little ones, your kindness was a relief beyond measure as she tried to find her feet 2,000 miles from home.

"The sadness and confusion in the eyes of the children is heartbreaking. We must do everything we can to help them through this."

Paddy O’Flynn, SVP South West Regional President and volunteer

Compassion across counties

Of course, the need to help refugees is being felt far beyond Cork — In Kerry, Dublin, Wexford, Carlow, all the way to Derry and Armagh. Anita, a volunteer in Craigavon, tells of a family she’ll never forget… "They're 3 sisters, 5 kids between them. The family had only what they could cram in their backpacks," says Anita. "They had to leave their partners in Ukraine. Can you imagine the weight of that worry?"

SVP provided the family with clothes, toiletries and vouchers so they could buy basics like underwear and socks. "It's been a such a struggle for them," says Anita. "They're so thankful for the help."

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