(New Jersey). In an effort spear-headed by partner Kelly Waters, the WSHB community is rallying to support Ukrainian children who were displaced by the war in Ukraine and now find themselves living in an orphanage in Poland. As part of a humanitarian mission including civic and religious leaders from the greater New York/New Jersey tri-state area, Kelly will travel to Poland to deliver much-needed items.
“This started as an effort to deliver over iPads which would support the education of the children displaced by the war,” said Kelly Waters, managing partner of WSHB’s New Jersey office. “Working with our IT department, we started our drive for gently used iPads and tablets that can be used for educational purposes. This has now morphed into a larger campaign of gift cards and more to support these children displaced by the horrors of war.”
“It is fitting that this past week, Kelly was honored by the American Bar Association for being a ‘difference maker’ during an awards presentation in Columbus, Ohio,” said Stephen Henning. “When I told her how thrilled I was to see the light shine on her for all her good works, she told me she would much rather shine the light on people in need – and that is exactly what she is doing through her humanitarian trip to the Polish border with Ukraine.”
Currently there are over 750 orphans from 32 orphanages in the Odessa region of Ukraine being cared for in this town in Poland, which is located approximately 50 km outside Warsaw. The children range in age from 3-18 years old. The children are expected to remain in this location until at least 2024.
Along with the international efforts underway to secure safe homes for these children, the mission is also focused on providing the children and their caregivers with resources to provide educational instruction and appropriate social interaction through this difficult period. WSHB is proud to support Kelly and her efforts in conjunction with this international mission as they visit Poland later this month. The firm has established a firm-wide goal to collect at least 350 gently used iPads and tablets that can be refurbished for use by the orphanage. It is our hope that our efforts will make an impact on the lives of these children who have already endured so much.
“Our firm has been fantastic about supporting this much-needed effort,” said Waters. "If anyone is interested in making a monetary donation to help purchase new iPads and tablets when in Poland – please reach out to me. The new iPads and tablets will provide secure connections for telehealth visits for the children. We are blessed to have homes, educational resources and access to mental health counseling. The headlines remind us that for these children – ranging from infants to 18 years of age - this is not the case. We are proud to do what we can to assist these young minds grow, survive and hopefully thrive in the most difficult of times.”