A horse owner and philanthropist, Earle Mack has a well-deserved reputation for being there for those in need and getting things done, so it’s no surprise that he’s leading a delegation carrying supplies. medical supplies, food, clothing and other necessities for Ukrainian refugees who have made their way to the border with Hungary. Now he’s back, after a mission that he says is some parts sad, some gratifying and some inspirational. He achieved what he set out to do, made a difference.
“It was a very difficult experience emotionally, but I’m glad we went,” said Mack, who invited Peter Brant to accompany him on the trip. “The stories I heard about the indiscriminate shooting of women and children and the looting were horrible and brought tears to my eyes. Those who lived there all their lives had to leave their homes to save their lives. The wives and mothers have left their husbands and sons to fight. Some of the women and children that I visited at the Budapest Cathedral Refugee Center had to walk in the freezing cold to the western border, fearing bomb attacks along the way.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine hit Mack for a variety of reasons, including the fact that he was of Ukrainian descent. His grandfather immigrated to the United States from Ukraine, arriving on Ellis Island in 1900. The Mack family would enjoy considerable success in America, and Earle Mack has always used his personal fortune wisely. One of his pet causes is the Man o’War Project, the first university-led research trial that aims to establish manual guidelines for applying Equestrian Supportive Therapy to the treatment of pets. treatment for veterans with PTSD.
“Watching this horrible murder of innocents begin to happen because Vladmir Putin wanted to win back and rebuild his Soviet empire, I felt I had to do something,” Mack said.
So one morning, he picked up the phone and called former New York Governor George Pataki. Pataki is the founder of Pataki meadowdership Center and is a trustee of the Conscience Appeals Foundation Advisory Board. The Appeal of Conscience Foundation is an interfaith collaboration of business and spiritual leaders from all faiths, who together promote “peace, tolerance and resolution of ethnic conflicts.” Mack convinces Pataki to work with him on a relief project for Ukrainian refugees.
Rabbi Arthur Schneier is the president and founder of the Conscience Appeals Foundation and a Holocaust survivor.
“Today, the world is responding to the Ukrainian people and giving support to Hungary and neighboring countries, who have opened their doors to the fugitives,” said Schneier. “As a refugee myself, I know what it feels like to be hungry and go through days without food. I know what it means to run away from your home with only a few clothes on your back. The horror I went through was a part of my life every day. For that reason, the Appeal of Conscience Foundation is proud to stand alongside Pataki . meadowThe dership center is on this humanitarian mission in helping to provide the essentials to support displaced refugees. “
Mack’s next call was to Brant.
“The Ukrainian people really need our help,” Brant said. “Anything we can do, big or small, we need to do it now.”
Mack, Brant, and Brant’s wife, Stephanie Seymour, went to work, collecting as many clothes as they could. Mack said Seymour spent $30,000 of his own money on clothes. Clothing is an important part of the mission because most refugees can only take a handful of clothes with them when they leave their homes. Mack said they have filled and distributed 40 duffle bags filled with clothing.
Mack and Brant left Florida on a cargo plane last Thursday and met Pataki in Hungary. Brant’s son and daughter also went to Hungary.
“Everybody is so grateful,” Mack said. “We tried to give money to our parents. They have nothing but they will not take any money from us. They are proud people. That is inspiration. “
Although the clothes they gave were appreciated, it was a simple gift that seemed to have the most impact. Mack and his crew distributed chocolate bars to children at the Mukachevo Refugee Center.
Mack, a former ambassador to Finland, said: “The children cried when we got there. “We play games with the kids and bring them chocolate, which I know will make them smile. One of the directors told us it was the first time they had seen the children smile since their arrival. I explain to these kids that the world is watching them and that they are heroes. They will remember what their parents went through to get them out there. “
Brant and Mack have returned, but they leave behind a team of experts that will stay on the Hungarian-Ukrainian border to assist local officials and medical staff assisting the refugees. Mack’s work in Ukraine may not be done.
“How do you feel? I was very inspired,” he said. “It makes me want to do more good things, keep doing good with my life.”