iacf decorative antiques dealers, Smith & Moon Interiors travel to Poland to deliver aid for Ukraine in-between iacf antiques fairs.
Mat Smith of Smith & Moon Interiors spent months raising money and aid to take to Poland to help support the people of Ukraine.
You can follow Mat’s journey on his Instagram page, @smithandmoon
“My emotions are running wild, but I am focused, as is Charlie @uniqueantiquesdecorativearts, who is coordinating on the polish side.” @smithandmoon are still looking for support for their incredibly generous act of taking essential aid to the people of Ukraine and Poland.
“The response to our crowed funder and donations we’ve received have been amazing.” Everything that Mat sold at iacf Shepton Mallet Antiques Fair this March, 20% went straight into the crowdfunder. Mat emphasise how the people of Ukraine need us and we cannot let them down.
Visitors to Shepton Mallet Antiques Fair took part in Mat’s journey to Poland by giving donations throughout the 3-day antiques fair.
You can still donate to this important cause through Crowdfunder.
iacf donated £1000 to the Ukraine appeal, hoping that other organisers will follow through and do the same to help this cause.
Mat Smith reminded his Instagram followers that likes and shares go a long way, but not as far as donating a few pennies can go! On the 8th March, Mat shared to his followers the importance of his cause based upon the thousands of women and children being displaced in Ukraine, fighting for their lives and freedom.
“There are thousands of women and children being displaced in Ukraine, fighting for their freedom or even stuck there. Myself and Rachel are trying to concentrate on the needs of those in need with items we take for granted.“
“As promised, van loaded for IACF Shepton Mallet fair tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday.“
Mat set up early on Friday at Shepton Mallet Antiques Fair to help sell as much stock as possible. “I dare you to clear this stand!”.
You can follow their journey through their Instagram, including showing how full Mat’s home was with days worth of donations from fellow villagers, two schools and local shops.
“There are ordinary people out there, risking their lives every day to deliver aid, help refugees and fight for what they believe in. There are people sheltering in basements without food or water or power.
Driving a van loaded with stuff across Europe is the very least I can do.”Mat Smith of Smith & Moon Interiors via Instagram
The support that Mat has received from fellow iacf antiques dealers has been fantastic. You can see on his Instagram that as soon as his van was emptied, it was filled straight away again through the continued support of iacf antiques dealers.
Mat says that the van was actually overweight, so he had to sort out transferring some of the aid to another van to follow him. A wonderful couple, Kerrie and Louise helped out and loaded up their trailers with excess weight to meet up with Mat in Poland, another incredible gesture of support.
Mat reached the queue for the ferry on the 18th March and suddenly was told there would be a lot of delays and that he would arrive in Dunkirk around midnight – meaning he would have a slightly longer journey than anticipated. However luck was on Mat’s side when a man from DFDS took him out of lane and placed him on the 6pm ferry!
We then caught up with Mat via his Instagram page when he arrived in Belgium later on March 18th. Mat emphases on his page how no generation should have to go through this, no one from the past nor the future. “It hit me on the way here, that it wasn’t small boats that are going to the rescue of people stuck or escaping the conflict of human war, it was small vans. No generation should have to go through this, not from the past, nor the future. It struck me quite emotionally.”
After 14 hours of driving, Mat arrived in Poland safely with his team. They had to quickly unload the trailer so it can get back on the ferry the same night. Mat gave a thanks to Kerrie & Louise and Antique Decorative & Arts for their continued support for this cause via his social media pages.
“All the essential medical supplies is on the van and will be distributed to the ambulance teams tomorrow. The situation has really changed here, we are giving to the people who have recently arrived. They have no bedding, no clothes – so again, thank you.“
The next phase for Mat was to drop off the medical aid to the ambulance centre which then made its way to Ukraine, well done Mat for getting the supplies over to them safely and securely.
Mat then set off for home on the 23rd March after delivering everything to those in need – ready for another event at Newark Antiques Fair to raise some more money for his April trip, in-between Newark Antiques Fair and Ardingly Antiques Fair.
“I couldn’t have done it without you, but please allow me to continue to do it.”
Reality hit many supporters of Mat’s trip when Mat shared an image of him and a Ukrainian refugee who only spoke Ukrainian, no Polish, no English. Mat exclaims how the little girl had been torn from her home, school and everything familiar to her. Mat was honoured that the little girl allowed him to take a picture with, which shows her holding her only toy she now owns, thanks to the courtesy of donations.
“I have been humbled by the strength and kindness that all refugees have shown. I had the pleasure of meeting a man who had escaped with his dog, again recently arriving in Poland. There were tins of dog food available and he would only accept two tins as he wanted to leave some for the other dogs, even when I offered him more, he refused.
“The calmness and lack of greed that they all showed has been an inspiration. Everyday more refugees are arriving and many more stuck in their besieged homes. I am leaving again at the end of the first week in April, please go to our crowd funder and donate so I may continue to help the Ukrainian people both estranged from their homes in Ukraine, stuck in their homes or fighting for their freedom.”
Take a look at more of Mat’s posts to learn just how important giving this aid is, and the difference it is making to people’s lives. Without people like Mat and his generosity, those of need wouldn’t have received this much needed support.
Mat left again for Poland last Thursday, where he took the following donations with him:
- Paper or bamboo plates and cups. Let’s not add more plastic into the mix
- Non – perishable foods. Tins are heavy and will reduce the amount we can take, so sachets and pots are better
- Medical supplies are still very much needed. They are using tampons to pack wounds and nappies to dress them
- Washing powder, dettol
- More stationary, colouring pens, toys etc. for children
The money that Mat raised throughout his trip will then be used to buy water and food when he arrives in Poland, so always, please donate to Matt’s cause.
“It doesn’t have to be much – £10 will buy 200 water purifications tablets, £16.89 buys a packet of steri-strips, £55 buys a hospital pack of sterile wound closure dressings and £1200 buyers a defibrillator.”
Once again, Rachel and Mat thanks everyone for their support to help raise aid for Ukraine via their instagram page. You can support Matt at the next iacf antiques fair, Peterborough Antiques Fair, on Friday 15th & Saturday 16th April at the East of England Showground. Get your tickets ready today!