Faith leaders and volunteers from Metro Detroit travel to Poland-Ukraine border to help war refugees



DETROIT – Fourteen million Ukrainians have now been moved due to by Vladimir Putin war. That’s according to the UN refugee chief, who called it “the fastest and largest displacement in decades”.

A long winter is coming for these refugees, and some local religious leaders want these people to know they are not forgotten.

St. Clare of Montefalco Catholic Church of Grosse Pointe Park organized its sixth group of volunteers to go to the Polish-Ukrainian border.

Reverend Jim Holley, CEO of Jim Holley International Ministries, is one of seven people heading to Poland Wednesday (November 2) evening. He says he wanted to go when the war started but he hasn’t had the chance until now.

“I thought it was a good time for someone like me from the Catholic Church to come in and let them know that there is someone here who still cares about you and that you don’t. ‘re really not forgotten,” Holley said. “So I think that’s one of the reasons that touched my heart to do this now.”

The group is not leaving empty-handed, as in just a few weeks they have raised over $10,000 for Ukrainian refugees.

“What we want to do is take that money and buy coats and underwear and shoes for the kids that are there,” Holley said.

They also take artwork by Curtis Lewis titled “Let My People Go”.

“We want everyone lucky enough to see the painting to recognize that someone cares,” Lewis said.

It took Lewis two months to complete the piece as part of his “Justice For All” gallery in Southfield. The idea is to have the painting signed by the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and then bring it back to Detroit Metro.

“I want to auction it off, and the proceeds will go to children in Ukraine,” Holley said.

“Knowing that I’m able to use my talents and it’s appreciated and it can be a tool to help others around the world, I think is very special,” Lewis said.

The group plans to stay in Poland for about two weeks.

Contact St. Clare of Montefalco Catholic Church in Grosse Pointe Park or Reverend Jim Holley International Ministries to learn more about the event and to donate or volunteer.

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