HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Holyoke city officials gathered Friday with Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church from Ludlow to raise the Ukrainian Flag at Holyoke City Hall to demonstrate solidarity with the people caught in the middle of the Russian invasion.

Father Andriy Krip, pastor of the church, was among those raising the flag in front of Holyoke City Hall. Father Krip’s church has been a central location for the shipments of humanitarian goods to the people of Ukraine.

“We were not expecting to get so much response when the war started. But they still bring the packages to help Ukraine to ship them,” said Father Krip.

“The city of Holyoke and surrounding communities, we are a place that embraces culture and embodies diversity and protects those basic freedoms,” said Holyoke Mayor Joshua Garcia.

The church is still accepting donations of medical supplies and money to benefit relief efforts.