Bakersfield organization travels to Poland to support Ukrainian refugees


BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) – Bridging the gap, even though the crisis in Ukraine is global, some residents in our community wanted to help those in Ukraine, so they traveled to the Polish border to support those in crisis .

Working to make a difference on the ground is how the local leaders of the organization, CityServe, have tried to help those in Ukraine who are suffering and need help.

Providing food, water, blankets, mattresses, medicine, first aid supplies, soap, toothbrushes and other necessities is how CityServe tries to to help.

CityServe is a faith-based organization in Bakersfield. Officials said when the crisis in Ukraine started, they wanted to help those who were suffering in that part of the world.

Their co-founder, Wendell Vinson, and executive director, Karl Hargestam, of Bakersfield, along with two others from the organization traveled to Poland last week to help Ukraine there.

They said they talked to people crossing the border, helped feed them, set up shelters and got the supplies they needed thanks to donations and financial assistance from residents of our community.

“A lot of our CityServe management team, they have been in Poland to set up this infrastructure. Take a look at what is happening with the Ukrainian people, understand the plight of Ukrainian refugees, what they are going through and how they can better empower and resource churches.

CityServe’s Crissy Cochran said some of the most important supplies people needed there were food, water, hygiene products, blankets and mattresses.

“The support from the Bakersfield community here has been tremendous. I know a lot of people are wondering how can we donate, can I bring things to your warehouse, and we don’t do those types of collections or collections yet. What we have seen is a number, I am talking about hundreds of people contacting us, contacting us saying that I want to go to Poland with you.

Cochran said they don’t know exactly how much money CityServe raised to supply Ukrainians, but said the majority of donations came from people in Kern County.

Cochran added that they don’t know what kind of events they will hold in the future, but it could include supplies drives or even packing some items, depending on the needs of Ukrainians. They hope that when the time comes, residents here will be ready to help.


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