Skip to main content

The Giving Circle helps a Ukrainian refugee on the road to freedom

Richard Stockwell and Maria with her new car

The road to freedom takes many forms. Thanks to The Giving Circle, this time it means a lovingly refurbished car and the ability of a young Ukrainian refugee to move about freely with her two young children.

The Giving Circle’s latest small miracle began when Marc and Constance Evans of Vermont donated a 2010 Audi to our organization. Like most 12-year-old cars, the Audi needed a little work. Thanks to TGC Past President Leo Geoffrion’s connections, master mechanic Richard Stockwell checked over the car in his Vermont shop and made the necessary repairs. Richard donated his labor to The Giving Circle as he performed a complete brake job, replaced the battery, changed the oil and did other basic maintenance to ensure the car was safe and

Enter Mariia (Maria) Isaieva, a refugee from Kyiv who fled to Saratoga County with help from Adam Israel’s Letters of Hope for Ukraine Project. Since Russia attacked Ukraine in February, The Giving Circle, among other groups, has been helping to resettle Ukrainian refugee families, including Maria’s. The Giving Circle’s volunteers have helped Ukrainian families with housing, job-seeking, furniture, medical appointments, navigating the school enrollment process and other needs.

As part of this project, TGC volunteers facilitated the title transfer and guided Maria as she earned her New York driver’s license, obtained insurance and picked up her plates. To complete the “circle,” The Giving Circle recently donated the car to Maria, enabling her to move about freely with her young children.

“This is the kind of project we love,” said TGC President Joyce Rice. “An advantage to being small and nimble is that we pull off the kind of ‘miracle projects’ that large, corporate charities generally don’t touch. We changed the trajectory of a young family’s life with a used car and our local connections. We wish Maria safe driving and all the success in the world as she moves forward with her new freedom.”