Scottsdale woman starts email campaign to reach Ukrainians

A few days ago, an email campaign began. It essentially connected prayers and support messages from American strangers to Ukrainians.
Published: Mar. 6, 2022 at 8:59 PM MST
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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - What’s happening in Ukraine hits home for Scottsdale resident Carolyn Leff. In the early 1990s, her temple helped Ukrainians resettle from the Soviet Union into the United States. Now 30 or so years later, she’s taking action through her words.

“I just felt I need to do something,” Leff said. “I need to let them know that I’m thinking of them.”

And so, a few days ago, an email campaign began. It essentially connected prayers and support messages from American strangers to Ukrainians. But Leff wasn’t expecting much initially from the idea.

“An email would have left my mind if I was in the middle of a warzone,” she said.

Thanks to Leff’s longtime Ukrainian friend Gennadiy Kats, Leff found out her emails weren’t just received; they were greatly appreciated. “These letters really helped me to be stronger and not to panic during these hard times for Ukraine,” Kiev native Bogdan Pychyniuk said.

Pychyniuk remains in Ukraine, a teenager trying his best to stay positive. “It’s hard to imagine what is happening in my city and country as well,” he said. “But I have no right to show weakness and fear because my words and my actions affect the morale of my loved ones.”

Loved ones that now include several new names a world away. “Gennadiy called me and said, you know what, this is really taking off,” Leff said. “I’m forwarding this to a lot of my friends, and they are forwarding it to my two coworkers who are right smack in the middle of Ukraine right now.”

Leff hopes to keep this email campaign going to reach even more Ukrainians. “Just let them know that we’re thinking about them,” she said.

In Ukraine, these letters give Bogdan and others not just hope but a reminder of what’s most important. “Take care, and love your family and friends,” Pychyniuk said. “Never miss an opportunity to spend time with them. You never know what will happen tomorrow. So it’s better to do it today.”

If you would like to find out more information about the campaign, email Leff at cleff99@gmail.com.