The house is empty, and I’m sitting here with my coffee trying to process the events of the last couple weeks. Katy’s at a doctor’s appointment making sure baby #4 is healthy and well and ready to arrive sometime around April 12th. A few weeks ago, we were excited about our new minivan and frustrated by our bifold doors that keep coming off the track. Now, I’m thrilled by how many of my friends have made it to safety, heartbroken for the ones who haven’t, and indescribably proud of those who have chosen not to in order to help others.
Emma turned 3 last week. The day was filled with lots of joy as she played with her new toy dinosaurs, taking them apart with her electric drill, and putting them back together again. That morning though, I found out my friend Zhenya’s daughter has the same birthday and was turning one. He sent her to Poland with his wife to be safe, and we texted back and forth about being dads.
Another friend was buying a van in Chernihiv to shuttle people to safer parts of the city. It’s completely encircled by the Russian army and the shelling is horrific. Thanks to you guys exceeding our donation goals, we were able to pay for a third of the van, and they have enough to purchase it.
For a week, we’ve been arranging international transfers through Xoom and Western Union, sending money to our friends who are scattered across Hungary, Romania, Poland, and Ukraine. This is a picture from our friend, Tasha. She’s in Poland with her three children while her husband, as brave a person as I’ve known, is taking care of their parents in Ukraine. The note is to you—our renegade band of soap customers, family, and friends who gathered resources for people you didn’t know in places you hadn’t been. It says, “Thank you.”
Joel and Katy