I found out last night that my wife's cousin Leszek, who lives in Gniewkowo, Poland, has opened his home and is providing food and shelter for a mother and her two children, plus two children from another family. They all recently fled Kiev, Ukraine to take refuge in Poland.

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Think about that for a moment. Would you open your home and let someone in who has just fled their home? To escape a war that they want no part of? If Cheshire went to war with Meriden, and you lived in Waterbury or Prospect, would you let a family stay in your garage? Your living room? Spare bedroom?

It's terrible that our country is not doing more, or getting involved in the Russian war on Ukraine. Due to the delay in a national response, ground-level support for the Ukrainian refugees is starting to swell around Connecticut, and it warms my heart.

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New Britain's Little Poland neighborhood put up a post on their social media page announcing that multiple businesses, civic leaders, and organizations are rallying together to support their Ukrainian neighbors. The Belvedere Restaurant, which is located at 82 Broad Street in New Britain, is hosting two fundraisers this week. The first is tonight, March 1, 2022 at 7 PM and it's being hosted by the Polish American Foundation of Connecticut. The second fundraiser at Belvedere will be held this Friday, March 4 from 6-9 PM.

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A very cool gesture by the City of New Britain itself, the municipality has lit up the Beehive Bridge which carries New Britain's Main Street across Rt. 72, with Blue and Yellow lights, in support of the Ukrainian people. It must be beautiful at night, the bridge itself is stunning.

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In addition to the two fundraisers at the Belvedere, the Law Firm of Podorowsky, Thompson & Baron, which is located at 202 Broad Street, has been assisting local families with their legal documentation in order to travel to the Ukraine to help their families. Also, according to Little Poland, New Britain's post, The Polish American Foundation and The Polonia Business Association are assisting with fund raising efforts.

It's beautiful to see empathy and respect in this dark world.

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