A convoy of aid led by Fife Provost Jim Leishman is set to leave Lochgelly bound for Poland to help Ukrainian refugees.
Five vans and two minibuses filled with hundreds of items dropped off at Lochgelly Town Hall are set to leave the Kingdom on April 4 at 6am.
The effort has been spearheaded by determined Fife councillor Mary Lockhart and Mr Leishman, a former footballer.
A small-scale appeal for donations quickly grew into a huge community response, triggering the ambitious plans.
Volunteers will be behind the wheel and are due to arrive in the Polish town of Torun to personally deliver the aid, as well as meeting Ukrainian refugees.
‘It’s humbling to be able to help’
Former Dunfermline footballer and Fife Provost, Jim Leishman, 68 is heavily involved in the efforts.
He said: “As soon as I knew about this I wanted to help in any way that I could.
“We need to do what we can help. It’s so important.
“I was contacting Mary Lockhart about donating some shoes and this is how it started.
“We have to help. We were told that the refugees desperately needed shoes so we organised shoes to go into the vans.
“I’m very humble to be honest, very humble that I can help.
“As human beings, we have to help those who are suffering.”
He added: “It’s good to do something about this. We will arrive Wednesday night.
“I would hate to be stuck somewhere with guns, and bullets and bombs with my family somewhere else.
“I needed to help. These people needed us. I am delighted to be able to help.
“I will be driving one of the vans with aid, and it feels good knowing that I can play my part to help the people fleeing Ukraine.”
Collection began at start of invasion
Councillor Mary Lockhart said: “It all began as soon as the invasion had begun.
“People everywhere were desperate to send help.
“Lochgelly Town Hall ended up becoming the drop off point as it already had a well established team of volunteers. There is already a substantial volunteer network there.
“People just started donating. People just kept coming with donations, the hall started over flowing.
“It got to the point where we had to try and move things. That’s really where the idea for the convoy happened.
“We were told we could donate money, but we had all these material items that the community were desperate to help.
“We have ended up using the Lochgelly Miners Institute to organise the aid.”
“People saw images with people they could identify, people with next to nothing.
“This part of Fife is poor, and people could recognise that when crisis strikes, you have to help, even if only in what way you can.
A story of community determination
Mary added: “People donated anything that they could, and it was incredible.
“Ukraine needed us to help. The community understood that.
“Many people struggle with money here, but they still helped in any way that they could. It was really beautiful to watch the selflessness of the people.
“The community became determined to find a way of getting the goods there.
“Love was all that mattered, we want to do it all with love, and show love to the people who have fled their homes.”
“People came together to help. People wanted to send their love with it.
“It’s wonderful what can be achieved when the community comes together.
“The whole thing has been heart-warming, and incredibly touching.”
She added: “The donations ended up coming from all over Fife.
“We put out an appeal for drivers that had a huge response. Now we are almost sorted and ready to go.”