The scene is semi-chaotic, with people moving about and talking hurriedly in a white-walled basement-turned-bomb-shelter somewhere in Ukraine. A baby is crying. Clothes and bags are strewn about haphazardly. Then a little girl named Amelia, 7, starts to sing “Let It Go” from the Disney film “Frozen” in Russian, and the room turns silent — even the baby stops crying.
Amelia’s voice is sweet and innocent — angelic. She sings with such feeling, and then when finishing the song, she timidly covers her mouth with her hands, as if embarrassed that she had been filmed on a cell phone.
In this 1 minute, 46 second video, we see the price of Russia’s war against Ukraine crystalized. We see the price that Ukrainians are paying — their children, their beautiful children, forced to hide side by side with their parents underground to save their lives from constant bombardment by Russian military forces in a war that makes no sense.
The video has been viewed more than 16.2 million times on Twitter over the past four days because, in Amelia, we see the humanity of the Ukrainian people. Thankfully, she is now reportedly safe in Poland, according to several international news outlets.
We should pray for Amelia and all Ukrainians. But we must do more than that. We must act — and all of us can. We can contribute financially to organizations like UNICEF at unicefusa.org or the United Nations Refugee Agency at unrefugees.org.
We can also give to the many refugee supply drives throughout Long Island. At Hofstra, there are two primary drives, working in concert with each other — one at the Lawrence Herbert School of Communication, sponsored by The Long Island Advocate and the Public Relations Student Society of America, and another out of the DeMatteis School of Engineering.
There are now cardboard boxes throughout the Herbert School where you can drop off needed items (listed below). Items will be taken to the Ukrainian Americans of Long Island office at St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Hempstead and Holy Family Ukrainian Catholic Church in Lindenhurst.
Needed items include:
Clothing: Men’s, women’s and children’s clothes, shoes and other accessories
Supplies: Toothpaste, dental floss, mouthwash, toothbrushes, soap bars, hand sanitizers, feminine hygiene products, shampoo/conditioner, deodorants, razors/shaving cream
Household: Toilet paper, paper towels, wet wipes/baby wipes, baby diapers, microwaves, pots and pans, new sheets, pillowcases
Medical: Band-Aids, gauze, alcohol/disinfectant wipes, boxes of masks
Miscellaneous: Hand warmers, flashlights, nail clippers, hairbrushes, stopping totes/bags