LVIV, UKRAINE – As the Russian invasion in Ukraine continue, our crew spent weeks this past year in Ukraine, Poland and England covering the war. One Ukrainian organization is helping those who needed to flee and are hoping people in the US can help make donations for the cause.
Taking out boxes full of food and supplies, volunteers and people with the Ukrainian youth organization, known as PLAST, which is similar to the Boy and Girl Scouts, make a round of deliveries from Poland to their office in Lviv, Ukraine. Inside their building, you can’t miss the large painting that leads to their office. It’s dedicated to a former PLAST member, named Demuth. Demuth, like many other former PLAST members, joined the military when the war started.
“They were killed during the war and unfortunately this wall will have more pictures,” said Nastia with PLAST.
The painting is a heartbreaking reminder of the war, but people with PLAST said when the Russians invaded, their volunteer work took a different direction.
They set up an makeshift refugee site in the western ukrainian mountains.
“Synevyr, Ukraine is a place where a lot of people found their second home just from the Eastern part of Ukraine,” said Alex with PLAST.
They’re currently housing more than 70 people from the most at-risk places in Ukraine like Kharkiv, Kherson and Mariupol, taking in people Oksana and her son Nazar.
“I was very impressed with the help we received here,” said Oksana. “We didn’t even expect this.
It is amazing that there are people who can support you in a difficult moment, understand you, and help you, it can be anything.”
And Olena, her children and the family dog who call this site Noah’s Ark.
“We were shielded from everyday household problems, this is very important,” said Olena. “Especially when you are vulnerable and your head is occupied with thoughts about the shelling, it feels like your head is in a fog.
Even with a place to stay, we’re told the site needs major renovation for the amount of people there. They need roof repair work, windows and installation and other building materials. They also need other items like beds, personal hygiene products, diapers, even toys for kids to keep them entertained.
PLAST is working hard to get donations and relief into this site. They’ve brought in things like coal and wood burners to keep people warm and a generator, which is incredibly tough to come by in Poland and Ukraine at this time. With the Russians targeting energy infrastructure sites, they sometimes deal with no power all day, making it almost impossible for them to cook or do everyday activities. They’re hoping other people can help make their donation needs.
“Local residents helped a lot, and we are tremendously thankful, in fact, we thank everyone for their support. It is very important when everyone unites and helps mutually, so we pull each other out of this darkness.
The Erie, Pennsylvania company Logistics Plus has helped the organization PLAST get donations to that refugee site in Ukraine.