A Forden woman has helped raise over thousands of pounds for victims of the Ukrainian War through a Facebook group she started.
Jane Morgan started the ‘Buy and Sell UK- 100% to the DEC Ukraine Appeal’ Facebook group as a way to help after seeing the horrific events during the invasion earlier this year.
“I spent a few days feeling upset and powerless to do anything.” said Jane “Then I realised that I could make a difference by setting up a fundraiser.”
“I researched online and opted to support the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. It’s aimed at helping the civilians, and doesn’t use a high percentage of donations received in administration costs.”
The group was initially only set up back in March with 12 members and were originally composed of lovers of vintage dolls and bears.
According to Jane, things only grew from there: “Friends invited friends, and we grew. A kind member agreed to help with admin, and another keeps our running total of donations raised.
“Further growth has been achieved by getting the message out there in Buy and Sell groups and special interest groups on Facebook.
“The new members enjoy the bustle of the group – buy it now posts, auctions, and competitions. So they invite their family and friends. It doesn’t feel like numbers have grown quickly, but they have.”
Now the group includes members with a wide range of interests, both in the UK and membership has soared to 1,392 people. This meant that they reached their initial goal of raising £1,000 very quickly.
“As a group we were so excited when we reached our first target of £1,000. It felt like a huge achievement. Now we take each new £1,000 reached in our stride.” said Jane
They managed to hit the milestone of raising £10,000 this week but it was was celebrated in a subdued manner as members were shocked and upset by the death of four-year-old Liza Dmitrieva, who had Down’s syndrome, as she was pushed in a stroller through a crowded square in Vinnytsia in central Ukraine, leading to toys being donated by members as a tribute to the young lives lost.
Despite this Jane is hopeful of the group raising even more: “People stay, and interact. I’m not so much surprised by the size of the group now. What surprised me and continues to do so is the generosity of members. So many valuable items come in to raise funds.
“Even though the events in the Ukraine are receiving less news coverage on TV, and people are feeling the squeeze of rising prices, the spirit and determination to carry on helping is strong amongst our members.”