Westport’s Christmas Miracle In Lyman

Tons of building supplies, dozens of generators and a water filtration system are ready to be trucked to Lyman — a devastated town in Ukraine — thanks to the generosity of more than 575 Westporters and their friends. We’ve raised nearly $250,000, in less than a week.

But first came Christmas.

And — with help from all those “06880” folks — our new sister city had a Christmas too.

At 7 a.m. yesterday in Kharkiv, Brian Mayer — the Westporter who co-founded Ukraine Aid International — picked up 400 fresh holiday meals, all homemade and bagged.

Then he added 491 gifts, donated by children in Hamburg, Germany.

He got in a van. He arrived in Lyman at 12:30 p.m.

Dressed as Santa, he helped deliver all those meals to the elderly and infirm, at the central square.

Then he went door to door, handing out all those presents, to every child left in Lyman.

Residents were stunned. They’d heard that Westport was sending aid. But this immediate, impactful Christmas Day surprise was extra special.

Brian sent photos and videos, throughout the planning process, the ride from Kharkiv to Lyman, and the distribution.

He asked for no publicity yesterday, though. He did not want to jeopardize the safety of residents.

Even — especially — on Christmas Day.

Our drive to help our sister city was set to end yesterday. We set a goal of $250,000.

We’re close. But we’re not there yet.

Now that you see a small bit of what we can do, please help us hit that $250,000 mark.

Please click here. Click the “I want to support” box; then select “Support for the City of Lyman.” Scroll down on that page for other tax-deductible donation options (mail, wire transfer and Venmo). You can also donate directly, via Stripe (click here).

Now click here, for this great video, shot by Brian Mayer and Liz Olegov. It was compiled and created by Clyde and Katya Wauchope, who have worked tirelessly to make our sister city project a success.

PS: Though the Christmas gifts came from German children, they were reminiscent of Westport’s connection with our sister city of Marigny-le-Louzon, France. In the years after World War II, we — well, the men, women and children living here then — sent presents to children there. Each bore the name of an individual recipient.

The citizens of Marigny never forgot us. Now — three-quarters of a century later — they join us in our efforts to help Lyman. Next month, when the French mayor gives his annual new year’s address to the town, he’ll describe our partnership, and ask for their help. Merci, Marigny!


3 responses to “Westport’s Christmas Miracle In Lyman

  1. India van Voorhees

    This is what the Christmas spirit is truly about. My heart is swelling, my eyes are welling, as I read about the goodness and kindness and generosity of people.
    Thank you for keeping us informed Dan.
    “… and on earth peace, goodwill towards men.”

  2. How wonderful is this! Thanks to Dan, Brian and others. A true Christmas!

  3. Arthene Hammerman

    This is beautiful

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