Tucson residents deploy to Poland to bring aide to Ukrainian refugees
TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - As war continues in Ukraine, Tucson residents are stepping up to help.
According to the UN, more than 5,000,000 Ukrainians have fled their homeland to neighboring countries.
Poland has taken in close to 3,000,000 Ukrainians, and that is where local residents are working to bring much needed resources to refugees and their pets.
“I don’t think if you told us six months ago that we’d be sitting in Poland, that we would’ve believed you. But the situation has gotten even more dire,” said Liz Baker, CEO of Greater Good Charities.
Tucsonans, Baker and Noah Horton arrived in Poland this week, but a ground team with the charity has been working with refugees since March.
Baker and Horton are joining the team to help figure out a long term plan to bring help to the Ukrainians who are fleeing their war-torn country.
Greater Good Charities COO Horton said, “The plan is to continue to provide that level of support and this helps us do that more efficiently and more effectively. Being able to see the operations firsthand and exactly how they’re happening allows us to distribute those resources the most effective way.”
The team is providing support to refugees and their pets through food donations, medical supplies, veterinary care, and more.
So far, the team has distributed 200 tons of pet food and over 6,000,000 meals for refugees in Poland and other neighboring countries.
“There is a resource issue here. There is a resource issue getting things in. Even at the food bank, we were talking about how hard it is to move stuff with the refrigeration right now and they just commented, you know these poor people have been eating the same canned food for weeks and weeks,” said Baker.
The pair has only been there a matter of days, but they tell me what they’ve seen is unfathomable. They’re amazed by the strength of the Ukrainians as well as the kindness they’ve seen in the neighboring countries.
“The spirit of the Ukrainian people and the way their neighbors are stepping up to help is something that will certainly be sticking with me, said Horton.
They hope their fellow Tucsonans back home will learn something from their mission.
“Hopefully it will inspire people around the world to step up and do something. I’m not just talking about Ukraine, I’m talking about in their everyday life,” said Baker.
During their time, Baker and Horton will travel to a number of cities in Poland and volunteer at food banks, animal shelters, and centers for women and children before leaving on May 5th.
If you would like to donate to relief efforts to help Ukrainian refugees, or follow along on Greater Good Charities’ mission, you can find more information here.
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