Home Care Provider, Polish Mission Aid Ukrainian Refugees

LEETONIA, Ohio – Rachel Jack was working at home one morning with her 12-year-old daughter who was watching the news about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Her daughter expressed frustration because she felt there was nothing that could be done to help personally, said Jack, co-owner and administrator of Legacy Christian Home Care. However, an opportunity soon presented itself in a voice message link from Jack’s sister, Deborah Shofstahl, who works at Sue Thomas Ministries, a charitable nonprofit based in Columbiana.

While touring Europe with a singing group about 20 years ago, Shofstahl connected with the operators of a mission based in Poland, Jack said.

“While she was there she had met Lolita Hershberger and her husband Lavern, who are the two that run the mission in Poland,” Jack said.

Lolita Hershberger was the voice behind the message link, Jack said. She and her husband were providing incoming Ukrainian refugees with food and shelter through their mission. Hershberger said she was at a train station in Poland, waiting to pick up two Ukrainians – a mother and her son – to take them to her home. When the Ukrainians arrived, they had other people with them.

Last Friday, there were nine people at the Hershberger’s home in Poland for food and a place to stay, Jack said.

Legacy Christian Home Care joined Shofstahl and Sue Thomas Ministries to connect with the Hershberger family and is working to support Ukrainian refugees flooding into Poland. The Christian home care agency will offer its space at 50 Lisbon St. to hold prayer sessions and donations from noon to 2 p.m. on the remaining Fridays of March.

On March 25, an event will feature Thomas, who will speak, as well as Keturah Hamilton, local violinist at 19-year-old owner of Strings of Grace. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. and all are welcome.

Joseph Bleacher, president and co-owner of Legacy Home Christian Care, said all of the money raised will go directly to providing refugees with essential resources to help.

“A lot of people are frustrated in the community because this atrocity is happening,” he said. “We can help in a way where people on the ground are taking people in to make them safe and get them away from what’s going on over there. That’s a good way that we can help individually. As companies and communities, and hopefully as a country we can actually help where we can.”

The funds will go toward purchasing food, blankets, spaces, mattresses and other resources.

In addition to donations being taken at any of the Friday events, checks can be dropped off or mailed to Sue Thomas Ministries at 50 Lisbon St., Leetonia, Ohio, 44431. It is asked that donations be specifically addressed to being for supporting Ukraine or Ukrainian aide.

Pictured: A van of supplies for Ukrainian refugees is delivered to the Hershberger’s mission in Poland. (Image: Rachel Jack)

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