I spoke with my friend and wine industry associate Elod Adam, today. Elod and I have known each other for a number of years as he once lived in Connecticut and we worked for the same company. He now lives with his family in Romania, just a few hours from the Ukraine border. He is a wine importer, a wine judge and a MW Candidate.
A few days ago, I reached out to see how he and his family were getting on and what they were seeing with the crisis - they are very close to the war in Ukraine. The conversation very quickly turned to a number of topics related to people and organizations with connections to the wine trade. The information was so personal I felt it would be helpful to share some of this and we agreed to get on a zoom and help spread a bit of what he is experiencing. We discuss the current situation and what he is seeing with the refugee crisis, as well as how his community and some associates of his are stepping in to help as best they can. Please check out the video above with our conversation. I am also posting some additional notes and links below related to what we discussed.
We are all feeling the pinch at the pump and watching the news with disgust, but keep in mind we are a very long way way from this disaster. There are many people in the zone and beyond who are impacted, and many, many people who are helping. As Elod says, it is heart warming to see the massive response by ordinary people across Europe to step up and step in to help those who have basically lost everything in just a few short days. It has truly been an all hands in effort to help.
The links below are just a few examples of where you can lend support. I do not think that it really needs mentioning, but anything, anything is appreciated as just about everything is needed. I am not endorsing any one in particular, just bringing these avenues to light for anyone wishing to help in their own way.
During our conversation, Elod mentions his friend and associate Zoltán Szövérdfi-Szép, who is a support person with Ceva de Spus. Below is the follow-up email that Zoltan sent to us after our conversation, yesterday - I think it is pretty clear about what he is doing...
I write this e-mail in English in case you want to forward it to your international friends/partners.
I had a zoom meeting with the representatives of people with disabilities and their families from Ukraine. The VGO Coalition (I am in contact with Yuliia Klepets) has 118 local NGO's all over the country which are active in the disability field and they are supporting around 14.000 families with children/adults with disabilities.
Also I am in contact with Danulo Kapral from Dzherelo Center for children with disabilities from Liov. They need money for medication because one of the biggest issue is the lack to access to medication. Their monthly budget is around 8-9000 eur.
We also offered to the ngo's the possibility to rescue families and accommodate them in Timisoara and assuring access to therapies for their children with disabilities, but the families don't want to leave yet. On one hand it is hard for them to move, on the other hand they are afraid that if they leave the country they won't get the disability allowance and the fees for personal assistants. So they are living in basements and bathrooms, because those are the safest places.
I have the permission to attach the document with the photos.
So basically as a first step they need money to be able to buy the very necessary things. The needs are different, medications are different, this is why the most effective way to help them is with bank transfer.
Also if they will decide to come in Romania we are happy to find solutions for them.
All the money we will receive will be sent to the disability organizations or service providers from Ukraine and, of course, for the Romanian companies we can make sponsoring contracts.
Our accounts in EUR and USD are:
Asociația Ceva de SPus
EUR: RO36 BACX 0000 0009 4543 5001
USD: RO09 BACX 0000 0009 4543 5002
For RON we are waiting for the dedicated account, but we can use our current account as well:
RO63 BACX 0000 0009 4543 5000
All the donations will be sent to the NGOs in Ukraine.
Of course I can give the contacts of the VGO Coalition and they can send the money directly to them.
On Friday I will make the first transfer and I will let you know about the situation and how is it easier.
Thank you so much for your support
Asociația Ceva de Spus
0040 721 613 521
The Rovinhud wine show, scheduled for May 6-8, has been working for years to provide assistance to those in need. This year (and hopefully there is a show this year), looks to be a year with special importance and need for relief on the highest level.
If you cannot get to Romania, the event will be held in English on gotomeeting.com and will be broadcast on the facebook page as well - www.facebook.com/rovinhud.ro
The Red Cross is another organization making an impact.
Support both at home and abroad is of course well known.
Click here to view the red Cross page on Ukraine
And here is a link to an article I found about an 11 year-old boy that travelled 600 miles across Ukraine to Slovakia...phone number written on his hand. Not sure if it is the same as the one Elod mentions in our discussion, but why do we need more than one - actually, why do we need one of these to happen?
Click here to read the article on Sky News
Here is a link to the local website for the town he lives in. Attached is a short post about the crisis, but it gives you an idea of what they are working to do there. The town as well as many local people and local companies are supporting refugees by renting places for them to stay and transition through. Click on the English language link or use Google for the translation.
ABOUT THE Author
Brian Mitchell runs The New England Wine Academy, and is responsible for the content of this blog. With 30 years of drinks industry experience, Brian has learned a few things, but everyday he is learning more. This blog helps to bring that knowledge to you.