Chin Rodger, a Choose Love Board Member, volunteered with her daughter for World Central Kitchen (WCK), a not-for-profit organization founded by celebrity chef José Andrés, which has set up mobile kitchens on the Ukrainian border.
On Instagram, Chin writes:
My daughter and I are humbled by our experience volunteering with this incredible organization. We have made lifelong connections with fellow volunteers from all over the world who have empowered us with hope, humility, and the power of human goodness – just peeling, chopping apples (tons and tons of it), potatoes, vegetables meat, garlic, and onions, bananas, making mega paella, pans of hot chocolate, and cleaning out the pans for the next lot; all under the watchful eye of head Chef Karla Hoyos and working alongside these chefs: David Guas, Gordan Ramsay, Marc Murphy, Jamie McDonald, Christian Hayes, Chef Olivier – these guys rock. Not forgetting Teresa Picos and Veronica. I am above all proud of my daughter, of the woman she has become – with her resilience, fearlessness, selflessness, dignity, kindness with a heart of gold. She has an effect on people I have not seen in anyone.
People came from all over the world to help people of the Ukraine. The chefs were the first to get here at 6 am and the last to leave. We are all Ukrainians now. Mostly helping in the main kitchen as too overwhelming emotionally to find words to serve at the train station or Tesco center — senseless suffering and pain, confusion and fear of what’s next. The hardest decision for these families is deciding what to do next.
She tells of being at the train station in Przemysl, where families were arriving cold and hungry. Mothers with children left homes behind with just a bag not knowing where to go or what’s next. It’s heartbreaking. I am with the best team, World Central Kitchen, here to provide hot chocolate, hot food, warmth and hope.
Chin and her daughter spent an extra day in Krakow at the refugee center where donations were being received, sorted, and staged for families to “shop” for free for what they want. There was an outpouring of contributions from the kindness of so many. Chin noted that she saw some joy from the women as they picked up what they liked for themselves and their children.
This is a war on children, the elderly, women, and innocent civilians. All these lives ripped apart senselessly. Pain, confusion, uncertainty, and loss. The most challenging for the women is deciding to stay close to the border, to their men or settle safely somewhere else.