Aid to Ukraine 2022
Former Governor of New York George Pataki, the Founder of the Pataki Leadership Center and a Trustee of the Advisory Council of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation joined Appeal of Conscience Foundation Trustee and the former U.S. Ambassador to Finland Earle I. Mack and philanthropist Peter M. Brant, also a member of the Advisory Council of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, to deliver medical supplies, food, clothing, and other essentials to the Ukrainian refugees arriving in Hungary.
Mack and Brant departed Florida with a plane load of supplies on March 10, 2022, to meet up with Gov. Pataki who was already on the ground in Hungary. The group met with high-level government and religious leaders, including Cardinal Peter Erdo, Primate of Hungary the Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, who is a Trustee of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation Advisory Council, with representatives of the various international relief organizations, Jewish relief agencies who are on the scene and leading members of the Hungarian Jewish community. The delegation left a team of professionals who will remain at the Hungarian/Ukrainian border to assist local officials and healthcare workers in aiding the refugees.
“I have deep family ties to the Ukraine through my great-great grandparents who managed to come to America in the early 20th century,” Mack said. “I have been a first responder in other disaster areas and I intend to be a first responder again to bring aid to the innocent victims of war in the Ukraine in their time of need.”
Earle Mack Introduces the Appeal of Conscience Foundation to a group of Ukrainian refugees in Hungary.
“We are here from the Appeal of Conscience to help people of all religions and all races who are seeking democracy, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion.”
In December of 2022, Earle Mack again joined Gov. Pataki in a mission to aid Ukrainian refugees, delivering over one dozen, industrial-grade heaters to shelters amidst the desperate need to keep displaced families warm during the frigid months.
While leading a humanitarian delegation to Ukraine and border areas accepting refugees, Gov. Pataki and Ambassador Mack delivered large-scale portable heaters, each of them able to warm up to ten families in the various shelters across the region. The temporary shelters, many of which are converted schools or municipal buildings, have been without adequate heat as the Russian military has begun targeting basic infrastructure in the country. This poses a significant risk to the Ukrainian war effort, and amidst frigid winter cold in eastern Europe, has jeopardized the safety of families forced to flee their homeland.
“Over the past several weeks, it has become clear that the Russian strategy in Ukraine is to severely damage, if not obliterate, the electric and energy infrastructure across the country,” said Ambassador Mack. “This means that for millions in Ukraine, this cold, unbearable winter must be endured without access to heat. The consequences are profound, and it is critical that we get boots on the ground and provide Ukrainians with tools that can make a difference. If each heater can save one life, this mission will be an immense success and pave the way for future efforts.”
Following the successful delivery of 15 industrial-scale heating units in December 2022, the Earle I. Mack Foundation and the George Pataki Leadership Center announced the continued support of Ukrainian citizens through the launch of Operation Heat Ukraine, a nonprofit dedicated to helping those suffering due to ongoing Russian attacks on critical infrastructure.
Operation Heat Ukraine initially launched following discussions with high-ranking government officials in Ukraine, who indicated their people were without basic necessities like heat and electricity as the winter approached. In January 2023, Operation Heat Ukraine donated and delivered more than 350 heaters which will be used for invincibility centers at the request of the Zelensky government and will provide heat for thousands of Ukrainians.
“To save just one life with these heaters makes our mission worth it. We have come here, boots on the ground, to ensure the delivery of these heaters to the people of Ukraine,” said Ambassador Mack. “Despite billions of dollars in aid to support military efforts, there is still significant humanitarian work that needs to be done. Through our efforts, we hope to bring awareness to the horrors of this war, particularly among civilians, and to drive additional resources to support them.”