XENIA TOWNSHIP — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine made a visit to the Emerge Recovery & Trade Initiative Friday where he spoke briefly and applauded local efforts to help Ukrainian refugees.
DeWine joined Emerge’s Executive Director Jeffrey Sorrell, Matthew 25: Ministries Director of Communications Michelle Jones, DeCoach Rehabilitation Center COO, Kaleb Barrows, and many other local business leaders and supporters at the event. DeWine said he is on board with the plan to help those in need and that he appreciated the Xenia community for its hard work and involvement.
“We all have watched TV and just been sicked by the suffering we are seeing every day in the news,” he said. “ People are wondering what they can do … We are fortunate in Ohio to have Matthew 25 Ministries.”
DeWine praised the effort and donate additional items. A collection of initial donations (including food, disinfecting wipes, sanitary items, toilet paper, and infant supplies) were displayed as a representation of what is being stored at Emerge in larger quantities and being sent by Matthew 25 to Ukraine.
The drive continues until April 15.
“We have Ukraine refugees here in Ohio already,” DeWine said. “We are preparing to bring more and we anticipate many coming to Ohio … We want to thank you all for your hard work. This is what Ohioans do. Ohioans have a big heart. We want to help people after seeing what we are seeing.”
Since 2018, more than 500 Ukrainians have made Ohio their home as a result of the war. They have primarily gone to the Parma and Cleveland areas. Additionally, DeWine said more will be welcome.
The Cincinnati-based Matthew 25 Ministries is well known for collecting goods from corporations, local businesses, private citizens and manufacturers. DeWine said they are especially good at getting into disaster-stricken areas like Ukraine that are hard to access at times like this. The organization has been delivering goods to people in need worldwide since 1990. The organization has had partners in and near Ukraine for many years.
“We’re fortunate in Ohio to have Matthew 25 because they know how to move stuff,” DeWine said. “And they are really good about getting into places that are tough to get into.”
After speaking about the drive, DeWine toured the Emerge facility with community leaders about the ongoing efforts to turn the place into a large recovery center, business incubator, and trades school with transformational housing for people recovering from substance abuse disorders in addition to youth aging out of the state’s foster care system.
For more information on Emerge, go to https://www.emergerecoverytrade.com/.