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Hoosiers helping refugees from Ukraine both home and abroad

Posted at 7:58 AM, Mar 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-28 07:58:19-04

FRANKLIN — The Salvation Army of Indiana has sent a team to help refugees from Ukraine obtain the things they need to get on with their life and one business in Franklin is dedicating a portion of its sales to help.

"The Salvation Army has a team of people right at the border as they come across and they are giving them some direction about how to get transportation back and forth, they are giving them water, food, things that they are going to need," Major Mike McKee said.

McKee is currently stationed with The Salvation Army in Bucharest, Romania, where he is working with around 100 families a day to get them settled and provide them with the things they need to live their daily lives. A major way of doing this is by providing refugees with vouchers.

“These vouchers are good at grocery stores, at pharmacies and regular shops all through Bucharest," McKee said. "So we are giving these people another option for things they may need with their kids."

Meanwhile back in Indiana, Middle Davids Candles in Franklin is making candles for Ukraine.

A portion of the proceeds are being donated to a charity helping overseas.

"I had a customer reach out to us via Facebook message,” Tauria Catlin, the co-owner of Middle Davids Candles, said. “It said something along the lines of 'I'm sitting here looking at my Middle Davis candle and wouldn't it be great if you poured one that was blue and yellow and smelled like sunflowers.'"

So, the owners took their customer's advice and started offering the Ukraine Sunflower Donation Candle. While this is their first time doing a fundraiser overseas, the owners help with local fundraisers all the time.

"We are hoping that people won’t just donate but they will remember and kind of spiritually be a part of that for a longer period of time," Dan Catlin, co-owner of Middle Davids Candles, said.

Simply continuing to acknowledge what is happening in Ukraine is something McKee said will help show Ukrainians support.

"They know they are in a place that there are friends and people that care about them," McKee said.

The Ukraine Sunflower Donation Candles are $25 each with $7.50 of the sale price being donated to International Relief Teams. For details on how to order click here. For more details on the Salvation Army’s mission click here.