Eight months ago, Russia’s unprompted attack on Ukraine shocked the world. It was another historical event unfolding before our horrified eyes that compelled me to find a way to help.
Fast-forward to today, I can proudly say I have had the honor and privilege of supporting the Ukrainian people as they fight for their freedom. In June, I went to Ukraine to deliver medical supplies and met hundreds of organized and committed volunteers who continue to serve in Ukraine and Romania. My platform, Helping Ukraine, has supplied hospitals in Ukraine with crucially needed medical equipment. We have shipped over $500,000 worth of medical equipment and supplies to 14 major hospitals throughout Ukraine, including three at the current front. We have delivered battery-operated Stryker Surgical Drills, which enable surgeons to re-attach limbs that would have otherwise been amputated. Incubators for newborn babies, with battery-pack backups gave medical personnel the ability to transfer babies from regular hospital space into bomb shelters. Each time air raid sirens sound and the power goes out, we have dramatically reduced the risk of injury or death.
Unfortunately, the need for hospital supplies and equipment is growing as a result of intensified Russian bombing throughout Ukraine. We are now working to get an additional $500,000 worth of supplies to Ukraine by year-end, using the same reliable network that has functioned to date.
Our strategy involves purchasing equipment and supplies in the US when it cannot be purchased at a lower price in Europe. Our purchasing, warehousing, and shipping through Tucker-based FODAC (Friends of Disabled Adults and Children), receives free or heavily discounted shipping to Baia Mare, Romania. From there, shipments are escorted by Rotarians across the border to the Rotary warehouse in Uzhhorod, Ukraine. Then supplies are distributed by Ukrainian Rotarians to hospitals throughout the country.
I continue to receive calls and emails from my new friends on the other side of the globe in Ukraine. They’ve sent pictures of our equipment in use at the maternity hospital in Cherkasy, Ukraine. In Dnipro, friends have emailed me asking, on behalf of emergency room doctors, for basic aid like saline for wound irrigation, defibrillators, and surgical equipment.
We need funding now for warm clothing, blankets, and generators. They are desperately needed to improve the survival of Ukrainians in shelters and in their homes as harsh winter conditions combined with vicious Russian attacks that threaten their spirits and survival. The local Ukrainian community greatly appreciates all that we are doing for their homeland. They are an inspiration to me, and others involved in the effort as we continue to build community for this movement.
At some point — hopefully soon — the war in Ukraine will end, leaving a huge need for replacement infrastructure and economic development. When the bombing ceases, there will still be work to be done — but we need to raise more money immediately to accommodate the requests we are getting every day.
As we go into this holiday season — the season of giving — we hope this effort will come to mind.
I only hope that more will join our movement. Please help by going to helpingukraine.us.