Man from Saratoga raises $30,000 for work in Poland with Ukrainian refugees

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A man from Saratoga Springs is using his family’s home, car and pub in eastern Poland to help Ukrainian refugees.

People around Saratoga have helped him raise $30,000 so far, going directly to women and children escaping the war.

His effort has been so successful that Adam Israel is in the process of making his fundraising more official, so he can continue to give direct aid to refugees as long as the war continues.

Speaking from his pub in eastern Poland that he owns with his wife, a Poland native, Israel sat near Ukrainian refugees he’s helped house, feed and get into school over the past two weeks.

“It’s women and children who have lost their homes,” he explained. “It’s so hard to imagine what they’re going through, the way they act and talk, and it’s unbelievable, but the Ukrainian people are really amazing people.”

He’s helping about 15 adults and 20 children in an area now flooding with refugees, with local money purchasing everything from cell phones to medication.

“We’ve given them housing, and we make sure they’re taken care of. The kids started school today, which is awesome to see. So we made sure they had supplies, backpacks, we got kids bikes,” he said.

NewsChannel 13 first reported on Israel before he left, as he collected $10,000 and hundreds of letters with supportive messages from the Capital Region. Now, he’s raised three times that and given out 600 cards, with much of that generosity from around Saratoga.

But the war is growing, and so are his efforts.

“There’s a lot of these 20, 30, 15 dollar donations that, I don’t recognize them, they’re not in my Facebook friend list, and, I don’t want to say it’s going viral, but it’s growing outside Saratoga and outside of the Capital District, and I just got to say, I appreciate it, wherever it’s coming from,” he said, explaining that it’s even reached a jail with inmates now sending cards for refugees.

Israel is expanding the effort and becoming a registered non-profit.

“We’re going to transition into a legitimate organization, a charitable organization, and just try to fundraise,” he said.

Israel is planning to come home at the end of the month to see his wife and kids in Saratoga, then head back with more cards.

If you’re interested in donating, you can donate using the Venmo QR code on the Letters of Hope for Ukraine Facebook page.

To send a card, you can drop it off at the Inn at Saratoga. Israel suggests a donation of $20 inside the cards if possible.

You can also support Israel by purchasing a blue and yellow bow for $5 at Silverwood, Sleep & Spas or Catholic Charities in Saratoga Springs.