Like more than 7,000 other Jews in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkov, Asya Shmushkevich is afraid.
She's worried about Russian troops less than 50 miles from her city, and she's scared the tiny pension that already barely provides for her needs will be delayed or devalued by her country's rapidly shifting financial situation.
A former Hesed volunteer in Kharkov before she became homebound owing to complications from a host of diseases -- diabetes, atherosclerosis, pancreatitis, and more -- Asya knows the importance of community and of giving back to the Jewish people. And for Asya, JDC is now the critical difference between life and death.
"The home care worker is now my connection to the outside world. Jewish life here is like a shtetl, where everybody is connected to each other," she says. "My life is a great puzzle consisting of many small things. And the glue keeping this puzzle together is JDC.”
JDC is working diligently on the ground to ensure the well-being of Asya and scores of thousands of others throughout Ukraine. We're stepping up security, increasing support to volunteers and staff, and continuing to provide the essential supplies the most vulnerable Jewish elderly, families, and at-risk youth have come to count on.
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