Staff and volunteers at Hartlepool company Hogg Global Logistics – which has become the collection point for anyone wanting to do their bit to help – have been inundated with everything from sleeping bags to medical supplies, and flowers to money.
The message on one cardboard box, filled with cotton wool pads, said it all. It had a drawing of the Ukrainian flag and the message ‘with love from Hartlepool, UK.”
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Today, company director Lyndsay Hogg said: “It has been overwhelming. It is fantastic.”
The stockpile is so huge that the mercy mission will need more than two trucks to transport it all. For now though, Hogg really needs more donations of specific items.
Lyndsay said: “We need vacuum bags, boxes, first aid kits (small kits with everything in).”
She said Hogg will continue to take items until a cut-off date of March 14.
In the meantime, she described the amazing public generosity that her staff had witnessed this week:
A pensioner donated £500 of items and then offered to donate half of her pension each month to help Ukraine. Lyndsay said: “It is obviously not something we can do but she really was awesome.”Another visitor brought in flowers for every volunteer who was sorting through the stockpile. One woman knitted 42 hats. A Stockton business offered £500 towards the fuel costs of the mercy mission. Schools across Hartlepool and the Tees Valley have told Hogg that they are organising collections. A woman from a Hartlepool company brought in donations and then spent the rest of the day helping Hogg Logistics staff to sort through the mountain of donated stock. Two brothers from Hartlepool, aged 7 and 9, made care packs at home and them took them to Hogg to be given to boys of their own age in Ukraine.
Lyndsay said the number of donations had now reached "tens of thousands” and added: “Everyone is so emotional it’s heartbreaking.”
She said the company had received numerous calls from people who wanted to know what they could knit for the people of Ukraine.
"When people have asked what they can knit we have asked them to crochet hearts to put in the boxes, or sunflowers (the Ukrainian national flower) just to add some love in to every box.”
Hogg Global is an international sea, air and road freight firm but its bosses were keen to be the town collection point for a wider North East bid to support people in Ukraine.
It is also appealing for first aid goods, bandages, plasters, eye washes and sterile wipes as well as good condition blankets, sleeping bags and quilts.
People wanting to make donations to Hogg Global Logistics can either visit the company between 10am and 5pm or call 07757 099190.
For the latest news and information about the Ukraine invasion click here for online NationalWorld coverage.