It’s easy to feel helpless at the sight of so many horrific and heartbreaking images pouring out of Ukraine. On a cold, rainy Wednesday evening earlier this month, about 30 people acted on that feeling and walked back and forth across the New Hope-Lambertville free bridge as a show of support for the people of Ukraine.
The solidarity walk and rally was organized, in part, by Indivisible Lambertville, NJ/New Hope, PA, a nonprofit that aims to “fight all policies that are oppressive, exclusionary, and marginalizing.”
“We want to really stand up for their democracy because we believe in our democracy,” Cindi Sternfeld, a Lambertville resident and a member of Indivisible, told NJ.com about the purpose of the walk. “We are also concerned about all the different levels of what’s happening there. … The best thing we can do is bring people together so they can use their voices and their feet and give them information.”
Yellow scarfs and replica sunflowers – Ukraine’s national flower – on sticks adorned with yellow and blue ribbons were handed out, along with information on how to make donations to global relief organizations supporting Ukrainian refugees, including the Obama Foundation, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, International Red Cross, International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, Save the Children, and World Central Kitchen.
“When our voices come together, we build power so that our legislators will know it and so [media] come out and cover it,” Sternfeld said.
According to Tap Into Felmington/Raritan, Indivisible co-hosted the walk with Kehilat Hanahar/Little Shul by the River, Lambertville Lotsa Helping Hands, River Valley Realty, Indivisible Bucks, the Lambertville Human Rights Council, St. Philips Episcopal Church, Rise Up Doylestown, and Centenary United Methodist Church.
“I like to be doing as much as I can to help with the situation,” Kehilat Hanahar Rabbi Diana Miller said. “So I am trying to raise spirits and awareness so that people stay involved, speak out, and give money so the people on the ground can get support.”
Also among the walkers was 32-year-old Inna Ratz of Lambertville. She told NJ.com she immigrated from Ukraine nearly 15 years ago and travels there regularly to visit her family and husband, who are in western Ukraine. She expressed disbelief that something like this could happen in this day and age. Or in her native country.
“We are free, and we want to live in our country, and we are a very peaceful country,” Ratz said. “We never had a fight with other country, and the US understands us and they help a lot. It’s my fatherland, so I am collecting a lot of stuff to send to Ukraine right now.”