Passover, Easter & The Holy Month of Ramadan

In a rare confluence of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious calendars, we are heading into a time when all the world’s monotheists are observing major periods of holy time. For Jews, it is the week of Passover; for Christians it’ Easter, and for Muslims, the Holy Month of Ramadan.

This should be a time to be in awe; and to celebrate the many ways that the One God has communicated His love and his messages to humanity

“Next to Normal”

Westport County Playhouse

If You Ask Me

By Tom Holehan
Connecticut Critics Circle

The Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, “Next to Normal”, opens the Westport Country Playhouse’s (WCP) new season on a memorable note. The venue provides a welcome space for this provocative and beautiful family musical drama. Directed and choreographed by Marcos Santana with a lively and blunter tone than previous productions I’ve seen of the show, “Next to Normal” is very much in good hands.

With music by Tom Kitt and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, “Next to Normal” is a six-character, small-scale musical that has been embraced by regional theatres across the country where it finds more appropriate venues than the large Broadway house from where it came.

Its challenging story concerns the bi-polar mother of a family that seems to be coming apart at the seams. Diana (Dar Lee See.Ah., a powerhouse) is attempting to hold it all together while imagining conversations with her dead son, Gabe (a dynamic Daniel J. Maldonado). Husband Dan (Wilson Jermaine Heredia) is torn between administering to his wife’s needs and his troubled teenage daughter, Natalie (Ashley LaLonde), who is resentful of both parents.

“Next to Normal” displays great sympathy for all the members of this fractured family which extends to include Natalie’s quirky new boyfriend, Henry (Gian Perez) and two of Diana’s doctors (both played very well in a gender switch of the script by Katie Thompson).

The musical is mostly sung-through with haunting ballads that the accomplished Dar Lee.See Ah., in particular, spins as true storytelling magic. As a prime example, her rendition of the musical’s most poetic song, “I Miss the Mountains”, is heartrendingly moving. The creators don’t have easy answers to the issues facing this family and don’t pretend that it will all work out in the end either. But, it’s the strength of “Next to Normal” that is seems so human and humane every step of the way.

At WCP, the main quartet of singers is uniformly excellent but often find themselves trying to out-shout each other over a very loud orchestra. And, it did bother me a tad that, even though all immensely talented, the children seems to be a decade too old and the parents a decade too young.

Some other caveats: while Cory Pattak has contributed a visually impressive lighting design, scenic designer Adam Koch comes up short. Using the entire Playhouse stage, the home setting has two separate staircases to a pair of bedrooms. There are three entrances at the front of the house and a kitchen that attempts to adjust to become a clinic, nightclub and the backstage of a theatre. The non-stop pumping of dry ice onto the stage is another baffling mystery and distraction.

But in the end this is a musical that effortlessly and honestly moves one to tears and, in the hands of this gifted company, is well worth a trip to Westport.

“Next to Normal” continues at the Westport Country Playhouse through April 24th. For further information, call the box office at: 203-227-4177 or visit: www.westportplayhouse.org.

Tom Holehan is one of the founders of the Connecticut Critics Circle, a frequent contributor to WPKN Radio’s “State of the Arts” program and the Stratford Crier and Artistic Director of Stratford’s Square One Theatre Company. He welcomes comments at: tholehan@yahoo.com. His reviews and other theatre information can be found on the Connecticut Critics Circle website: www.ctcritics.org.

Short-Play Festival in Recognition of Autism Awareness Month

Stratford Library
Sunday, April 10th at 2 p.m.
Lovell Room

The Stratford Library will present An Afternoon of Short Original Plays in Recognition of Autism Awareness Month” on Sunday, April 10th at 2 p.m. in the Lovell Room at the Stratford Library, 2203 Main Street. The staged readings of seven short plays offer works that shine the spotlight on adults and children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

The program features original short plays and monologues by two Stratford playwrights: “Helicopter Mom,” “Holy Moly Rat’s Tails,” and “The Human Sandwich,” all by Beatriz Allen, and “Perfect,” “It Doesn’t Count” and “Someone at the Bench,” all by Mark Lambeck. It also includes “Don’t Let Go” by Nancy A. Herman of Milford. Through the eyes of the individual affected by autism or family members of those with the condition, the plays and monologues examine some of the struggles facing those touched by the disorder.

Directors for the festival are: Beatriz Allen and Tom Rushen, both of Stratford, Nancy A. Herman of Milford and Rachel H. Babcock of Branford.  It also features choreography by Megan Bonneau McCool of Stratford. Actors are: Caroline Blake, Jennifer Ju and Richard Warren, all of Milford; Julia Allen of Stratford; Rachel H. Babcock of Branford; Bryn Berg of Westbrook; Kate Buffone of Avon; Betzabeth Castro of Bridgeport; Nick Kaye of Bethel; Fredda Takacs of Trumbull and Thomas Takacs of Fairfield.

Autism or ASD refers to a range of developmental conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 44 children in the US. Autism Awareness Month emphasizes the need for public awareness to promote acceptance, recognize the differences and become inclusive towards individuals with autism. In 2021, the Autism Society of America announced a shift in terminology from Autism Awareness Month to Autism Acceptance Month.

The show is free and open to the public. While reservations are not required, space is limited.  Wearing masks is optional. Doors open at 1:30 p.m.

“Great Movies You Missed”

Overlooked Films and Oscar Nominees

14th Annual Film Festival
Stratford Library
April 18-22nd

The Stratford Library will present its14th annual film festival of little-seen movies, “Great Movies You Missed”, beginning Monday, April 18th through Friday, April 22nd.  The program is a continuation of the library’s specialized film series, which attracts over 1,000 patrons annually.  The series is free and open to the public.

“Great Movies You Missed” will highlight five recent, critically acclaimed films that – for whatever reason – did not reach a wide audience during their general release. The festival, which includes three recent Oscar nominees, will feature film critic Tom Holehan from the Connecticut Critics Circle for commentary prior to the screenings.  The complete schedule for “Great Movies You Missed” is:

April 18th: “Tick, Tick…Boom!”: Pulitzer Prize winner Lin-Manuel Miranda makes his feature directorial debut with this fine adaptation of the autobiographical musical by Jonathan Larson, the late creator of Rent. The film follows Jon (Oscar nominee Andrew Garfield), a young theater composer who’s waiting tables at a New York City diner in 1990 while writing what he hopes will be the next great American musical. With the clock ticking, Jon is at a crossroads and faces the question everyone must reckon with: What are we meant to do with the time we have?  115 minutes, Rated PG-13.

April 19th: “Mass”: Years after an unspeakable tragedy tore their lives apart; two sets of parents (Jason Isaacs and Martha Plimpton, Reed Birney and Ann Dowd) agree to talk privately in an attempt to move forward. In Fran Kranz’ writing and directing debut, he thoughtfully examines their journey of grief, anger and acceptance by coming face-to-face with the ones who have been left behind. The acting is simply extraordinary.  110 minutes, Rated PG-13.

April 20th: “Drive My Car”:  Two years after his wife’s unexpected death, Yusuke, a renowned stage actor and director, receives an offer to direct a production of Uncle Vanya at a theater festival in Hiroshima. There, he meets Misaki, a taciturn young woman assigned to chauffeur him in his beloved red Saab 900. As the production’s premiere approaches, tensions mount amongst the cast and crew, not least between Yusuke and a handsome TV star who shares an unwelcome connection to Yusuke’s late wife. Forced to confront painful truths raised from his past, Yusuke begins — with the help of his driver — to face the mysteries his wife left behind. “Drive My Car” is a haunting road movie traveling a path of love, loss, acceptance and peace. Winner of the Oscar for “Best International Film”.  179 minutes, Rated R.

April 21st: “The Tragedy of Macbeth”:  Joel Coen’s bold and fierce adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, a tale of murder, madness, ambition, and wrathful cunning.  A visual tour de force in stunning black and white, the film stars Denzel Washington, in an Oscar-nominated performance, and Frances McDormand as the driven Lady Macbeth.  105 minutes, Rated R.

April 22nd: Passing”: In 1920s New York City, a Black woman finds her world upended when her life becomes intertwined with a former childhood friend who’s passing as white. Debuting director/writer Rebecca adapted Nella Larsen’s classic novel and leads an impressive cast (Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson) handling thorny themes with impressive dexterity.   98 minutes, Rated PG:13.

All movies will be shown uncut and in widescreen format at 12 noon each day.  The film festival, recommended for adult audiences, will be held in the library’s Lovell Room.

For further information, call the Stratford Library’s Public Relations and Programming Office at 203.385.4162 or check its updated website at: www.stratfordlibrary.org

Photo Caption: “Drive My Car”, winner of this year’s Academy Award as “Best International Film”, will be screened as part of the “Great Movies You Missed” festival at the Stratford Library on April 20th at 12 noon.  For further information: 203.385.4162

Women’s History Month: Julia Child

Culinary Goddess

Source: A Taste Of Home

Famous chef, author, and television personality, Julia Child made French cuisine accessible to American audiences. She was one of the first women to host her own cooking show on television, providing tips and lessons on how to prepare French food simply and easily. “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking, you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” Julia Child

For her high school education, Child was sent to the Katharine Branson School for Girls, a preparatory school in Northern California. Here, she attended classes in Latin, French, history, and mathematics to prepare her for college. Child also engaged in a wide range of sporting activities including tennis, swimming, and basketball. Although not very scholastic, she was quite popular at school and was active in a number of school groups. Growing to a height of six feet, two inches, Child was the natural choice to be captain of the school’s basketball team. She was also president of the Vagabonds, a hiking club.

After graduating from Smith College in 1934, Child moved back to California. She returned to Massachusetts in order to take a secretarial course at the Packard Commercial School. After a month of training, Child quit the course because she had found a secretarial job with W. J. Sloane, a home furnishings company, in New York City. She worked for this company until 1939, when she was fired for insubordination over a mix up with a document.

Child wanted to join the military, and applied to join the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) and the Women’s Army Corps (WACs). However, Child was rejected from both organizations because of her height. She was too tall. Wanting to become more involved in the war effort, she moved to Washington, DC in 1942. In August of that year, she become a senior typist with the Research Unit of the Office of War Information. At the close of 1942, Child took up the position of junior research assistant with the Secret Intelligence Branch of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a forerunner to the CIA. She undertook a variety of positions at the OSS, including clerk at the director’s office and administrative assistant in the Registry of OSS. She also eagerly volunteered to work for OSS overseas. From 1944-1945, she kept intelligence files for the OSS in India. The following year, she worked for the organization in China.

Following the war, she married Paul Child, whom she had met while working for the OSS in India. Paul Child worked for the US Foreign Service. In 1948, the couple was posted to Paris for Paul’s work. It was in Paris, that Child began to take cooking seriously. She enrolled in the famous Le Cordon Bleu cooking school.

During this time, she also met Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle. Together the three women published Mastering the Art of French Cooking in 1961. This book brought French cooking and cookery techniques to the American public. It also launched Child on her cooking career, which lasted for over forty years.

The Childs returned to the United States in the 1960s and settled in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At this time, Child was approached by television executives to host a cooking show, The French Chef, based on her book. The first program was shown on what came to be known as PBS in 1963 and remained on the air for a decade.

It brought Child national and international recognition. She also won a Peabody and Emmy Award for the program. She went on to publish several more cookbooks, including a second volume of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. She also hosted several other television series, including Cooking with Master Chefs and Julia Child & Jacques Pépin Cooking at Home, for which she won a Daytime Emmy Award.

She established organizations to inspire others to share her love of food and to expand people’s awareness of cooking. She co-founded the American Institute of Wine and Food in 1981, and created the Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and Culinary Arts in 1995. For her work, she was awarded honorary doctorate degrees from numerous schools, including Harvard University and Brown University.

Child died on August 13, 2004, having left a legacy of culinary art and education. Her kitchen, made famous by her cooking programs, was donated to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. By visiting the Smithsonian museum, thousands of people now peek into Child’s kitchen each year. The US Postal Service marked Child’s achievements, when they included her in the 2014 “Celebrity Chefs Forever”

Julia Child was full of wisdom both in and out of the kitchen. Here are some of the best life lessons you can learn from the queen of French cuisine. So grab a stick of butter and put on your pearl necklace. Here are some of my favorite Julia Child quotes.

1. “I was 32 when I started cooking. Up until then, I just ate.”
Julia Child famously did not learn how to cook until her 30s, proving that it is never too late to learn something new. Also, if you just want to eat, that’s OK, too.

2. “A party without cake is just a meeting.”
Truthiness! “If you ever invite us to a party without a cake, consider yourself unfriended. And pie will not do.”

3. “I think every woman should have a blowtorch.”
Her TV show began before the feminist movement, making this quote even more profound. Recommending power tools to housewives in the 1960s? Love it!

4. “People who love to eat are always the best people.”
Have you ever gone to dinner with a person on a diet? Not fun.

5. “It is hard to imagine a civilization without onions.”
According to Child, the flavor of onions blends perfectly into any dish (except dessert). Would civilization turn to chaos without onions? We don’t want to find out.

6. “With enough butter, anything is good.”
Her love of butter went against the mainstream attitude at the time. Most feared that butter would raise their cholesterol. Child was once again ahead of her time. Experts now advise that it is fine in moderation (like pretty much everything!).

7. “Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.”
Her passion for cooking made her an icon, and it all started as a hobby while she lived in France. She said you can never learn enough about the things you love.

8. “Always remember: If you’re alone in the kitchen and you drop the lamb, you can always just pick it up. Who’s going to know?”
In a world of perfectly polished social media posts, a little imperfection is more than refreshing. She wasn’t afraid of making mistakes and always taught us to learn from them. Could this quote be the source of the “5 second rule” when food falls on the floor?

9. “I enjoy cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food…”
Feeling intimidated by a recipe? Make like Julia and pour a glass of wine (or two!).

10. “Just speak very loudly and quickly, and state your position with utter conviction, as the French do, and you’ll have a marvelous time!”
In other words, fake it ’til you make it. Doesn’t this make you want to throw on an apron and start ordering people around the kitchen? Add the before-mentioned wine and cake, and this does indeed sound like a marvelous time.

Shakespeare Lives!!!

Funding for Shakespeare Theatre Redevelopment Approved by State Bond Commission

https://americanglobecenter.org/

 On March 31st Mayor Laura Hoydick announced that Bonded funds in the amount of $3 million or the redevelopment of the Shakespeare Theatre site were approved by the State Bond Commission at their regularly scheduled meeting. The funds will be distributed by the State Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD).

“These grant funds will help us secure a tremendous opportunity to reinforce our commitment to the arts and acknowledge the significance of the performing arts as part of the cultural fabric of Stratford. From the unfortunate loss of the theater to arsonists, we have a renewed opportunity to make this location come alive once more as a center for the arts, and I thank the Bond Commission and Governor Ned Lamont for considering our request for funding to help make that happen. I also appreciate the bipartisan work of our legislative delegation including Sen. Kevin Kelly, Sen. Dennis Bradley, Rep. Ben McGorty, Rep. Joe Gresko and Rep. Phil Young to make this happen.” Mayor Laura Hoydick, “While a final plan for what will appear at the Shakespeare property has not been decided on, it is clear from the series of forums we held since 2019 that the community is looking for an arts facility or black box theater, and retaining a portion as open space for fairs and festivals.”

An Official Comment from the American Globe Center:

“The American Globe Center is eager to coordinate with the town leadership to advance the planning for the Shakespeare Property. The State bonded funds could potentially finance the AGC’s Kickoff Prospectus, which covers the following:

• Site Planning – site surveys, economic impact, environmental, parking and transportation studies
• IDEA (Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, Accessibility) and Public Health Consultants
• Complete Architectural Design – plans, renderings, and scale model for display
• Design Symposium for town and state stakeholders to weigh in
• Project Management and PR
• Timber Framing Workshops – including building sample Globe audience bay on premise
• Globe Exhibition and Website – permanent physical exhibition for public
• Business Plans and Feasibility Study
• Capital Campaign Start Up – leverage for matching funds, funding consultant
• Globe Challenge Endowment for Education – challenge for matched funds
• Initial Construction Prep for the Property
• And More

To highlight one element of the above, the Timber Framing Workshops would in themselves be a draw to Stratford right away, and culminate in the construction of one section of the Globe re-creation as a showpiece. This would feature Peter McCurdy and our other British colleagues who built the Globe re-creation in London.

The State funds would be an excellent investment in the future success of the American Globe Center. If the town were to carry forward its initial plans for an RFP, the American Globe Center team would be able to lay out a detailed plan focused on economic development for Stratford and for the State, and a true profitable “return” on that $3 million investment.”

Ramadan

Sources: Wikipedia, Chiff.com

The holiest month on the Islamic calendar, Ramadan begins this year on the evening of Friday, April 1, 2022 and ends on Saturday, April 30, 2022 lasting for 30 days.

All about Ramadan

In the modern, fast-paced world, Ramadan is a time for Muslims to put the breaks on — and to fully develop a kind regard for others.

That means fasting, introspection, and developing compassion for those less fortunate.

As quoted in the Koran, “O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may acquire self-restraint.” (Qur’an 2:183)


Observing Ramadan

Ramadan is never a set date, but based on sightings of the moon, as well as other astronomical calculations. In Canada and the United States, most communities follow the decision of the Islamic Society of North America for the highly-anticipated start of Ramadan.

While charitable works are encouraged, fasting is the more familiar component of Ramadan. Daily fasting begins at dawn (just before sunrise) or Fajr, and ends at sunset or Maghrib. But not everyone is required to fast during Ramadan. Those exempted include children, pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding, and those who suffer from ill health.

As temperatures rise during the day, religious leaders and health officials advise properly keeping body-and-soul together by consuming fruits, carbohydrates, and lots of water when breaking fast.

The End of Ramadan

As you might imagine, the end of Ramadan is a big reason … to party!

The official end of Ramadan begins with the first sighting of a crescent following a new moon, marking the Festival of Fast-Breaking or Eid-ul-Fitr. In Arabic, Eid  means “festival” while Fitr means “to break the fast”. But most modern Muslims simple refer to it as the Eid.

With a long month of fasting completed, work is suspended and children are given the day off from school as families come together to worship and mark the end of Ramadan in a new-found appreciation of life’s many bounties. Following morning services, people dress in their finest clothes and tables groan with the weight of holiday dishes and delicacies in celebration.


DID YOU KNOW? Ramadan fun facts

• Ramadan isn’t limited to fasting and prayers. Positive actions might include giving money or volunteering for a good cause throughout the month.

• Fasting isn’t all bad. In fact, eating less may detox the body, lend you more energy, and make you more alert. Professional athletes even report having more stamina during the month of Ramadan.

• Non-Muslims can wish Muslim friends a happy Ramadan with the traditional saying, “Ramadan Mubarak” or “Have a (happy) blessed Ramadan.” To mark Eid, at the end of the month, the saying is “Eid Mubarek.”

• The end of fasting may be celebrated worldwide, but on different days. In some countries, Ramadan ends when you can see a new crescent moon with the naked eye. Others use exact astronomical calculations. Different time zones also play a part depending on where Eid is celebrated around the world.


More about Ramadan around the Web:

Just up ahead, discover more about Ramadan traditions and prayers, along with a cache of popular Ramadan recipes.

Also learn more about the sacrifices, strength and joy of Ramadan – a month-long testimony to faith observed by the planet’s more than one billion Muslims who each year celebrate Ramadan around the world…

 

If you ask me… “Dream Hou$e”

Long Wharf Theatre

By Tom Holehan
Connecticut Critics Circle

World Premiere At Long Wharf Theatre

As their penultimate production prior to closing up shop, New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre, in partnership with the Alliance Theatre and Baltimore Stage, is currently presenting the world premiere of “Dream Hou$e” by Eliana Pipes.  The dollar sign in the title is not a typo.

In “Dream Hou$e” we are introduced to two Latinx sisters, the very pregnant Julia (Darilyn Castillo) and her high-strung older sister, Patricia (Renata Eastlick), who reunite after the death of their mother.  They meet with the intention of selling their family home on a reality home improvement show hosted by Tessa (Marianna McClellan).

There is baggage between the two sisters.  Patricia was left as caregiver to her dying mother while Julia continued her teaching career as an unwed mom.  There is friction about the home sale as Julia has a sense of its history (or so she thinks) while Patricia is anxious to get out and reap the rewards of a big payday.

The timely themes of identity and what price can be put on heritage resonate in the first third or so of the play.  “Dream Hou$e” starts strong when the sisters reunite in a friendly/awkward manner and both actors are good enough to show us the layers of tension between them and all the history that remains unsaid.

Their different approaches to a shared family history is an interesting conflict especially, later in the play, when they appear to switch viewpoints.  This core story should have been enough given that the women are likable and flawed and very worth following as characters.  But Pipes switches gears after a bit and adds a surreal bent to the story once the HGTV show elements kick in.

Some of this is funny, some is like shooting fish in a barrel (parodying reality TV is a futile process).  But, late in the play, when Tessa starts asking Patricia to literally sell the clothes off her back (and more), the play turns obvious, grim and somewhat sordid.  You could feel the audience resist.  It all suddenly becomes very literal and heavy-handed which undermines the sister’s crucial relationship.

All three actors are well suited for their roles and do what they can with the muddled script under Laurie Woolery’s lively direction.  Kudos also to Woolery’s handling of her resilient stage crew who are enlisted here to not only act as the home improvement show crew but take charge of countless scene changes and a mountain of props.

I can only imagine what the backstage area of the theatre looks like!  I loved Stephanie Osin Cohen’s beautiful adobe home setting with its swirling shades of brown and burgundy.  It’s a shame that the set is soon dismantled throughout the evening adding a suggestion of mold that resembled thick blood red spaghetti.

Mark Holthusen’s excellent projection designs and Jason Lynch’s lighting also deserve mention.  The play has many worthy elements and is strongly acted, but the surreal aspects and confused plotting should be addressed for future productions.

“Dream Hou$e” continues at Long Wharf Theatre, 222 Sargent Drive in New Haven through April 3rd.  For tickets or further information visit: https://longwharf.org/shows-events/dream-house

Patrons are required to wear masks and show proof of vaccination at the door.

Tom Holehan is one of the founders of the Connecticut Critics Circle, a frequent contributor to WPKN Radio’s “State of the Arts” program and the Stratford Crier and Artistic Director of Stratford’s Square One Theatre Company. He welcomes comments at: tholehan@yahoo.com. His reviews and other theatre information can be found on the Connecticut Critics Circle website: www.ctcritics.org.

 

April Fool’s Day Spontaneous Theater

SheSpeak

Storytelling to Celebrate Foolishness

Friday, April 1st at 6 p.m.
Open Door Tea Room

SheSpeak will present “An Evening of Collaborative Storytelling” in their latest “on the spot” program of short theater pieces on Friday, April 1st at 6 p.m. at Open Door Tea Room, 3552 Main Street, Stratford at Paradise Green.

Using the April Fool’s date to celebrate foolishness as an inspiration, the group will create short theater pieces inspired by the stories shared by those in attendance.

SheSpeak is a free-form approach to theater in that the group does not have prepared scripts or prior rehearsals when they present a program.  Ten writers, 10 performers and 10 storytellers randomly selected from the audience pair up at the start of the evening. They work in small groups to create short works loosely scripted from the discussion among the writer, storyteller and actors and then perform them that evening.

SheSpeak is a diverse group of women artists including writers, actors, directors and producers with a mission to create a community of women connecting through the arts and celebrating women’s voices, stories and point of view.

The group has hosted several performances over the past few years and will present their unique format as part of New Haven’s International Festival of Arts & Ideas in June.

Reservations are strongly recommended, as space is limited. Reserve by calling: 203-345-9659. Masks are optional.

Stratford Stands with Ukraine

Town of Stratford to Raise Funds to Support Americares Ukraine Response

Town of Stratford will be raising funds to support Americares response to the escalating humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. The announcement was made during a vigil held in solidarity with Ukraine, at Town Hall Council Chambers.

Americares, a health-focused relief and development organization, has an emergency response team on the ground in Poland, assessing health needs and coordinating shipments of medicine and supplies to support families fleeing the violence. At the same time, Americares has a shipment of 3 tons of critical medicine and medical supplies headed to a partner organization working inside Ukraine, for hospitals and responders there. Americares is also prepared to deploy emergency medical teams, as needed, to provide primary care services, emergency treatment for injuries and mental health support to help survivors cope with stress and trauma.

The online fundraising initiative invites all members of the Stratford community to support families displaced from the Russian invasion and bombings. Donations will be accepted through April 1st in any amount greater than $5.00. Donations can be made here:

www.americares.org/StratfordStandswithUkraine