By Johannes Kiefer of Germany
This post and the next post are not your typical battlefield tour articles. They focus on the actions of two young individuals in Europe–one German and one American–who are taking action to help Ukranian people. I admire their initiative and I hope they move readers to take some action–Randy Gaulke
After Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February my friends and I had to take action. We organized small busses, went to supermarkets and purchased everything that one needs to survive. Then we drove towards Lublin, Poland and delivered the goods to Caritas Internationalis, a Catholic aid organization. From there we drove to the border town of Chelm and picked up 13 people, including 7 children, to bring to Germany. On the drive back we organized living accommodations. All have been well accommodated. And we receive reports regularly that the adults have found jobs and the children have been well integrated into kindergarten.
Randy’s comment: For reasons of space, several paragraphs describing other trips and fund-raising activities have been omitted.
In April we received various requests from the Ukrainian Parliament, regarding specialty relief goods. We processed this request and purchased those goods from around the world. To say thanks, the Ukrainian Parliament provided us with a Certificate of Thanks. We are very proud of that, and it encourages us to continue.
For the fourth drive we utilized a 40-ton tractor-trailer and a 7.5-ton truck. Our helpers in Poland and in Ukraine received us warmly, allowing the goods to be quickly loaded onto a Ukrainian tractor-trailer and brought to Kiev. There firefighting equipment and other technical supplies were delivered to the Kiev Fire Department. The Civil Protection Minister was on hand for the delivery.
Johannes and his friends have been sending a truck to Ukraine every four weeks. The fifth drive again utilized a 40-ton tractor-trailer. Once again we delivered medical supplies, food, generators, etc. In the meantime, we officially formed an association (which is essentially the equivalent of the 501©3 charities in the U.S.) This association is focusing on the Ukraine War currently, but the goal is to help people in various humanitarian crises.
In conclusion, I can say that the Ukrainian War has caused incredible suffering, but it is also clear that it has brought people closer together. Russia didn’t expect that. Hoping that the war will be over soon, we continue—like so many other people.
I want to thank Randy for giving us the possibility to tell the story to his readership. His son is also in Ukraine, helping people directly. At the same time, he is taking unbelievable photos in the war zone. I have a great respect for his accomplishments!
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