Mail reader donations fund Red Cross efforts to provide shelter and food to beleaguered Ukrainians

Sheltered in a Red Cross shelter funded with the help of Mail readers, a mother cradles her baby girl in the besieged city of Mariupol.

Meanwhile, in the capital Kyiv, aid workers are bringing food and basic provisions to around 8,000 people forced to seek refuge in a metro station.

These are poignant images that show how the generosity of readers is making a difference in Ukraine.

As bombs rain down in southern Mariupol, Yulia’s little girl knows nothing of the horrors outside.

But for the mother, the sanctuary of the Red Cross refuge means everything.

Yulia, pictured with her baby girl, is one of 100 people staying at a Red Cross shelter – partly funded by charity Mail Force – in the besieged city of Mariupol, where 400,000 people have been plunged in a humanitarian crisis.

She places a kiss on the hood of her daughter’s pink wool cardigan and says, “We’ve been here since the day they started bombing.

“We came here with nothing. We get help here. We need food, clothes, batteries and everything you need for daily life. We are grateful for any help.

Yulia is one of 100 people staying at the center of Mariupol, where 400,000 are in a humanitarian crisis.

The escape routes out of the port city were cut off and the civilian population was bludgeoned with indiscriminate shelling.

Yet Red Cross staff are working in the heart of the city, helping 4,000 people with food, hygiene items and children’s toys – partly funded by the charity Mail Force.

Around 8,000 refugees in Kyiv metros have been helped with the delivery of Red Cross food and hygiene packages

About 8,000 refugees in Kyiv metros helped with Red Cross food and hygiene packages

In total, the Red Cross has distributed 30,000 food and hygiene parcels and is helping people with disabilities to flee Ukraine.

Readers of the Mail have responded magnificently to the humanitarian crisis, with the appeal raising over £4million in one week.

This includes £500,000 donated by the Mail’s parent company DMGT at the request of Lord and Lady Rothermere.

An incredible 40,000 checks have been sent to us, almost all with heartfelt messages of support.

Reader Anne Lawrence, from Great Yarmouth in Norfolk, sent £100 yesterday with a handwritten message saying: ‘I hope this helps your appeal for the brave citizens of Ukraine, whom I think of constantly and in tears.

Generosity is matched only by the courage of the aid workers whom the money helps fund.

Here’s how YOU can help: Donate here at the Mail Force Ukraine Appeal

Readers of Mail Newspapers and MailOnline have always shown immense generosity in times of crisis.

Appealing to this human spirit, we support a huge fundraising campaign for refugees from Ukraine.

For surely no one can fail to be moved by the heartbreaking images and stories of families – mostly women, children, the infirm and the elderly – fleeing the invading Russian armed forces.

As this tally of misery mounts over the coming days and months, these innocent victims of a tyrant will need housing, schools and medical support.

Donations to the Mail Force Ukraine appeal will be used to support charities and aid organizations providing these essential services.

In the name of charity and compassion, we urge all of our readers to give quickly and generously.

TO MAKE AN ONLINE DONATION

Donate at www.mailforcecharity.co.uk/donate

Add The gift aid to a donation – even already made – complete an online form available here: mymail.co.uk/ukraine

By bank transfer, please use this information:

Account name: Charity Mail Force

Account number: 48867365

Sort code: 60-00-01

TO MAKE A DONATION BY CHECK

Make your check payable to “Mail Force” and post it to: Mail Newspapers Ukraine Appeal, GFM, 42 Phoenix Court, Hawkins Road, Colchester, Essex CO2 8JY

TO DONATE FROM USA

US readers can donate to the appeal via wire transfer to Associated Newspapers or by sending checks to dailymail.com headquarters at 51 Astor Place (9th Floor), New York, NY 10003

In Mariupol, the situation is disastrous. Food and water supplies have dried up, electricity and heating have been cut off, and the bodies of the victims of this sickening campaign litter the streets.

Residents huddle in sub-zero temperatures and drink melted ice to quench their thirst.

According to local officials, the shelling of their neighborhoods has been relentless.

The Red Cross says the situation is “incredibly tense, dangerous and distressing for people”.

A spokesperson added: “Our teams are seeing a lot of street-to-street fighting, including near where [our] the staff are… Most if not all of the shops are closed meaning ordinary citizens are struggling to purchase items.

Mail readers responded beautifully to the humanitarian crisis, with the appeal raising over £4million in a week

Mail readers responded beautifully to the humanitarian crisis, with the appeal raising over £4million in a week

Maksym Dotsenko, director general of the Ukrainian Red Cross, said: “We are deeply concerned about the safety of communities given the recent escalation in fighting.”

Nataylia, who is also staying at the Red Cross shelter, said she and her family fled the city’s Artana neighborhood under heavy and ruthless shelling.

“The shells fell directly on our heads, so we fled to what we were carrying, in the basement,” she said.

“We need everything now.

“We only wear what kind people and the Red Cross have given us. At the moment, we badly need medicines and hygiene products.

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