11 THE QUEENS COURIER • MARCH 25, 2022 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Local civic groups organize massive relief effort for Ukrainian refugees
BY BILL PARY
As the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine deepens,
with more than 3 million refugees fl eeing
the worn-torn nation since Russia invaded three
weeks ago, Sam Esposito, the president of the
Ozone Park Residents Block Association, had
Esposito began organizing with other southern
Queens civic associations and Assemblywoman
Stacey Pheff er Amato to hold the largest
Ukrainian relief eff ort the city has seen to date,
from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 19, at
Th e Living Word Christian Fellowship Church,
located at 132-05 Cross Bay Blvd. in Ozone Park.
“One of our Ukrainian residents asked for
us to help because a local Ukrainian church rebuff
ed his eff orts to organize a relief event. Th ey
would only accept cash,” Esposito told QNS.
“He knew that if anyone could do something to
help, it was us. I personally went to the church
and I was really disappointed that they wanted
nothing to do with the event.”
Th e Ozone Park Residents Block Association
has mobilized its own army of 75 to 100 volunteers
during the last two years to distribute
food every Saturday during the COVID-19
pandemic. Th e volunteers are Bengali, Black,
Chinese, Guyanese, Hispanic, white, bornagain,
Catholic, Christian, Hindu, Jewish,
Muslim, old and young, gay and straight,
“Without these volunteers, we couldn’t do
these eff orts, they give back so much to our community,”
he said. “We’re asking everyone to come
out this Saturday. It’s going to be our biggest
event yet. We expect it to be a citywide eff ort.”
Esposito is asking for all concerned people
to donate necessities for the refugees to
alleviate the worst suffering in Europe since
World War II. The Ukrainian Embassy provided
him with a list of medical supplies
that are needed including bandages,
antiseptic wipes, Ibuprofen, tourniquets,
syringes, antibiotics, rubber gloves and
emergency blankets. They will also collect
diapers, feminine hygiene products, toothpaste
and toothbrushes, sheets and towels,
soap, baby formula, canned food, socks, pet
food and children’s toys.
Residents of the Rockaways, Broad Channel,
Ozone Park and Howard Beach have been
dropping off supplies at either Living World
Christian Fellowship or Pheff er Amato’s district
offi ce all week.
“Th is is our chance to make a diff erence and
help everyone in need,” Esposito said. “It breaks
my heart to see what these people are going
through. You know, we face bullies every day
in our lives and here you see these people stand
up to the bullies in Russia. It’s truly moving and
we need to do what we can to help.”
He has lined up a trucking company that will
take all of the donated items to a warehouse. A
packing company will then package them for
shipping. Solent Freight Services, a company
with ties to the community, will ensure the
donations will be properly delivered to those
in need overseas, all donated for free.
In addition to Esposito’s organization, Th e
Ozone Park Howard Beach Woodhaven Lions
Club, Kiwanis International of Woodhaven and
Ozone Park, the Ozone Park Block Association,
the Glendale Civic Association and other community
groups are also helping to organize the
relief eff ort.
Photo by Igor Tkachenko/REUTERS
People who were evacuated from Nikolaev amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine arrive in Odessa, Ukraine,
March 15, 2022.
We eliminated fees.
Not every bank can say that.
Rewarding, no-fees Complete Checking.
Yes, you read that correctly. Flushing Bank has eliminated overdraft, insufficient funds, and transfer fees. Our
Complete Checking account has always offered great benefits such as mobile banking, mobile check deposit, and
ATM fee rebates, but now you can enjoy no-fees Complete Checking.* Plus, with our Customer Value Program
you can qualify for additional cash bonuses. Visit FlushingBank.com/personal/checking-accounts for more
information, to open a new Complete Checking account, or to locate a nearby branch.
Small enough to know you.
Large enough to help you.®
*Extra services such as fees charged for returned deposited items, non-Flushing Bank ATM withdrawals and balance inquiries, official checks, and wire transfers apply to this account. Speak with a Flushing Bank representative for details.
Follow us on
® Flushing Bank is a registered trademark