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How to help Ukrainian refugees at the Medyka, Poland – Shehyni, Ukraine border crossing

How to help Ukrainian refugees

This border crossing is the only one that has a pedestrian crossing, where women and children without cars can cross into Poland. Medyka is a small village just across the border from Ukraine.

There is also a railway station in Medyka, where trains from Ukraine arrive. There is another railway station in Przemyśl, and many refugees arrive there.

What happens to the refugees after they cross the border?

If they cross by foot, they are put on buses and go to the Media Expert parking lot in Medyka. There is a large first aid center there. What’s available:

– volunteers offering free rides to Polish towns and Germany

– first aid

– food and water

– donations distribution: clothing, strollers, shoes etc.

Btw, this is a line of people OFFERING rides to Polish towns and Germany.

I made fast friends with these friendly Berliner.

If they arrive in trains, I saw them exiting the Przemyśl railway station. I am not sure if they get off at the Medyka station. What’s available:

– first aid, food, water

– free train tickets to Polish towns

– outside the station there are people offering rides in cars for free

I did not see clothing/toiletries donations at the railway station, but there is a Overnight Sleeping Center at the Ukrainian Museum nearby (see below for the address)

How to bring goods donations to Medyka?

Towarzystwo Przyjaciół Dzieci (Children’s Friends Society) recommends the following drop off spots (as of February 27, 2022):

Water: Lwowska Street 9A, Przemyśl, Poland

Groceries, bread, dairy: Bakonńczycka Street 11, Przemyśl, Poland

Clothing & Toiletries: 

Option 1:  Wodna Street 2, Przemyśl, Poland

Recommended by Children’s Friends Society in their post.

Option 2: Mostova St. 1, Przemyśl, Poland 

Just 50 meters away from Wodna St. location, and I actually saw donations dropped off there.

Option 3: Donation Acceptance and Sorting Center at a big school

II Liceum Ogólnokształcące im. Kazimierza Morawskiego w Przemyślu

Biskupa Jakuba Glazera 44

37-700 Przemyśl, Poland,148,dziekujemy-darczyncom-i-wolontariuszom

This is a big operation, and I dropped off half of my donations there. There is a bunch of Polish teenaged kids and their teachers working day in day out on sorting and re-packing. They are HEROES.

Option 4: Medyka Media Expert parking lot

Drive to the Medyka Media Expert parking lot and give away your donations there. This is where the pedestrian refugees arrive first.  

What is needed the most at the border in Medyka?

The Children’s Friends Society has these recommendations

My personal opinion is this:

1. Ukrainian children’s books. Plush toys are in good supply already plus they are bulky so parents don’t always accept them, although I gave away all of ours to very interested kids. Parents wanted books, I guess because no one had the space to take them from home.

2. Suitcases on rollers. People need to carry a lot of stuff. Make it easy.

3. Push strollers. Not many people had the space to take them. Bring some old ones to the border.

4. Bedding and sheets and sleeping bags for the overnight shelter in Przemysl. People will stay there for the night while they figure out where to go, but clean sheets would be nice.

What is CURRENTLY (February 27th) in a relatively ok supply:

– clothing and shoes were available in Medyka. People will need more, but please SORT them into boxes. A lot of volunteer time is spent on sorting the donations. Make it easy.

– water and toilet paper was available at the border.

PRO TIP: Sort your stuff into clothing/bedding/food/medicine/toiletries/toys/books. You will increase the chances it will be put to a good cause.

Where can refugees stay overnight?

There is a Overnight Sleeping Center for Refugees at the Ukrainian Museum of Przemyśl near the bridge over the San river.

Ukraińskie Regionalne Muzeum „Strywihor” w Przemyślu

Tadeusza Kościuszki 5, 37-700 Przemyśl, Poland

Where to send money donations?

If you are not able to drive up to the border crossing, consider making a donation.

1. Send money to the Polish volunteers in Przemysl. 

Honestly, I think this is the best use of your aid money right now if you want to help refugees. These guys and gals are amazing. Polish people deserve a huge thanks from Ukrainians. 

Children’s Friends Society asks for donations here

I saw Polish Caritas workers at the border center. Donate here

2. Send money to Ukrainian support organizations

This article from Kyiv Independent (a new online source that I like) lists good options: 

– the National Bank of Ukraine has a special account to support the resistance

– Come Back Alive (Povernys Zhyvym) project has been operational and trustworthy since the 2014 revolution

– Army SOS helps the Territorial Defense Forces (citizens militia)