WATERVLIET, N.Y. (NEWS10) — As Russia’s February invasion of Ukraine continues into a fourth brutal month, the local community is continuing to send lifesaving help. NEWS10 ABC’s Lydia Kulbida shares the update as some fear Ukraine fatigue is settling in here while lives have forever changed there.
Dozens of volunteers listen intently in the basement of Watervliet’s St. Nicholas Ukrainian Church. Funds raised by the community bought these medical supplies with ordering help by Clifton Park EMS. The components are now being put together for individualized first aid kits for the frontlines.
Fundraiser and organizer Olya Oliynyk explained the contents. “So we’re talking things like hemostatic gauze, emergency bandages, tourniquets. These kits have everything in there that you need to save a life.”
Lifesaving needs continue in Ukraine where millions fled their homes after Russia’s February attack. Those who couldn’t run then, like the elderly, now need help to escape daily shelling. But their plight isn’t filling the news like it once did.
“The situation hasn’t changed,” noted Dr. Andrij Baran, “and the need hasn’t changed, and the human tragedy hasn’t changed.”
Dr. Baran is head of the local chapter of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America. Along with local churches, they’ve filled six 18-wheeler trucks with donations of humanitarian aid and medical gear. Now they’re using funds from the nearly $100,000 raised in the Support Ukraine Day telethon at Glennpeter jewelers to buy things that can’t be dropped off, including five ambulances.
“As soon as they get them, they’re using them,” said Baran. “The ambulances as I mentioned are taken to the battlefield where they pick up wounded and bring them back, both military and civilians.”
His biggest concern as they continue to send medical supplies: Ukraine fatigue.
“Putin is not going anywhere soon. The aid that Joe Biden got approved just recently will not reach Ukraine for three to four months minimum.”
And so the local work continues.
“I’m so grateful for all of this. It’s just amazing to see all the kind of support we have in the community,” shared Oliynyk.
Support that will be needed long after the war ends. For information on how to volunteer your time in the Capital Region or what donations are needed, go to 518Ukrainians.