As the war in Ukraine rages on, one Niagara University alumnus is reaching out to help.
Ferenc Nagy, managing director of Stay in Hungary and a 2004 graduate of NU’s MBA program, has been helping to transport, arrange accommodation, and fundraise to purchase essential goods for some of the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees who are crossing the Hungarian border seeking safety, protection, and assistance.
“After learning about the conflict in the neighboring country and seeing the massive number of refugees, I just felt that I had to help,” he said.
Nagy drove 11 people from four families from the Beregsurány border crossing to Budapest, a three-hour drive, and secured free apartments for them from his friends and members of the Calasanctius Training Program, a private scholarship organization that enabled him and more than 20 of his Hungarian peers to earn degrees at Niagara University.
“It was heartbreaking to see all those women fleeing their country with tiny suitcases and kids in their hands without fathers who stayed behind to fight,” he said. “It was even more shocking when a completely exhausted grandmother in my car struggled to sing a lullaby to her 3- and 5-year-old grandkids, struggling with her tears.”
Nagy also collected and distributed donations of money and goods, both from Hungarian donors as well as others who read his Facebook post. Some of the items most needed are food, water, hygiene kits, baby carriages, baby food, powdered baby milk, toothpaste and tooth brushes, phone chargers and sim cards, flashlights, vitamins, painkillers, disinfectants, children's toys, and inflatable mattresses, he said.
“I do not know how long it will take to rebuild this country, our neighbor; probably decades," he said. "I am doing this just for the joy of helping someone else out of a difficult situation.”
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