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Zero Cost Shop Limerick - Pictured are organisers Anna Mazeika and Kamila Turzynska with volunteer Avril Harty and Iryna, Yeva and Svetlana, who are all volunteers from the Ukraine. Picture: Richard Lynch/ilovelimerick. Zero Cost Shop Limerick - Pictured are organisers Anna Mazeika and Kamila Turzynska with volunteer Avril Harty and Iryna, Yeva and Svetlana, who are all volunteers from the Ukraine. Picture: Richard Lynch/ilovelimerick.

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WATCH Zero Cost Shop for Ukrainian refugees opens in Limerick

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Zero Cost Shop Limerick – Pictured are organisers Anna Mazeika and Kamila Turzynska with volunteer Avril Harty and Iryna, Yeva and Svetlana, who are all volunteers from the Ukraine. Picture: Richard Lynch/ilovelimerick

The shop was opened by Polish-born Limerick ladies Anna Mazeika, her sister Kamila Turzynska and a team of volunteers

By I Love Limerick correspondent Rachel Petticrew

Limerick Ukrainian community facilitators Anna Mazeika and Kamila Turzynska. Picture: Richard Lynch/ilovelimerick.
Limerick Ukrainian community facilitators Anna Mazeika and Kamila Turzynska. Picture: Richard Lynch/ilovelimerick.

A ‘zero-cost’ shop for Ukrainian refugees has opened at the back of the Sacred Heart Church, The Crescent, Limerick City. 

The shop was opened by Polish-born Limerick ladies Anna Mazeika and her sister Kamila Turzynska, who previously established the ‘Help for Ukraine’ campaign at the old Cleeves Factory site, which delivered two trucks of supplies to war-torn Ukraine.

The new store hopes to be a place of solace for refugees to avail themselves of the supplies and services they need, free of charge.

Anna spoke to I Love Limerick’s Richard Lynch about the new, volunteer-run service. 

“In terms of donations, our main priorities are toiletries. Shower gels, shampoo, sponges, shaving foam, razors, items that someone will need when they first arrive at a hotel or other accommodation,” commented Anna.

“Usually, those fleeing Ukraine only have one suitcase with them, sometimes no suitcase at all. They may also have children with them who need to be cared for.”

In addition to basic items, the zero-cost shop also offers a range of services to Ukrainian arrivals. Anna and her team of volunteers can help find children a school to attend, or arrange English classes for adults. 

Amazingly, shop organiser Kamila tells I Love Limerick that many of the volunteers are themselves Ukrainian refugees.

Richard Lynch with Yeva and Iryna, who are both Ukranian refugees. Picture: Richard Lynch/ilovelimerick.
Richard Lynch with Yeva and Iryna, who are both Ukranian refugees. Picture: Richard Lynch/ilovelimerick.

“It’s very hard to listen to the stories of those arriving here in Limerick. Their cities back home are destroyed, they have lost their houses and been separated from their families. It is very tragic,” says Kamila.

One such volunteer is Yeva, who says of her situation, “My husband is still in Kyiv and I worry about him all the time. But because I am here now, he does not worry about me.”

Anna Mazeika and her team have helped hundreds of Ukrainians enter Limerick since the beginning of the war last month. 

They encourage Limerick people to support the zero-cost shop by donating goods or volunteering their time. All enquiries can be made through their Facebook group, ‘Ukrainians in Limerick’. 

⛪️Sacred Heart Church, O’Connell Street Opening Hours
Mon, Tues, Wed – 9am – 5pm
Thurs – 9am – 12 noon
Fri, Sat – 3pm – 5pm
Sun – 4pm – 6pm

To donate to the Zero Cost Shop, go HERE

For more info on Migrants Rights visit Doras HERE

For more stories on Ukraine, go HERE

Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.

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