The latest initiative to send most-needed supplies to Ukrainian refugees comes to an end on Saturday.

Arthur Reynolds, the man behind the organisation of the collections, told NEWS.MC that he, his wife Lora, and his helpers have sent eight large and small consignments to the refugees since the Russian invasion and the refugee crisis began.

“I felt it was vital that we get the supplies directly into the hands of the people we are trying to help. So we started working with Cathy Thomsen of the Baptist Church in Budapest. We arranged for volunteers from the Alpes-Maritimes to come to Hungary to work with the Baptist Church to fine tune the logistics, and then help send on the packages to the refugees.”

Arthur has a farm just off the highway to the main border crossing with Ukraine. “We have an apple store which we only use from end October through to December so when it is empty we collect small consignments which are then sent on to Ukraine.

“We pre-collected goods here during the Syrian crisis and the Hungarian toxic sludge crisis. Father Walter Raymond of Saint Paul’s in Monaco was a great help to us  during this time,” he said.

Arthur, who is a member of the Church Council of Saint Paul’s Anglican Church in Monte-Carlo, added: “We rely entirely on volunteers. But one of our biggest problems is pre-collection. The donations have to be re-grouped in one spot over about four weeks. This has always been difficult. In the transport/shipping business this is known as “groupage.”

“My parents first met and worked at the Ministry of War Transport during the last war. They taught me a lot about logistics. In my case, I seem to be in the right place at the right time with the right knowledge, but I can achieve nothing without the wonderful willing help all along the way.”

In Monaco, donors are asked to bring nappies (diapers) or toothbrushes to the collection point at St. Paul’s Anglican Church on ave. Grande Bretagne between 10:00 and 14:00 until Saturday, August 5.

PHOTO: Cathy Thomsen, with Arthur and young volunteers