WEBSTER, N.Y. (WROC) — It’s been almost one year exactly since Russia invaded Ukraine. Throughout this war, the generosity from people in Rochester has been seen on the frontlines helping Ukrainians fight for their freedom.
When the war first broke out in February of last year, Roc Maidan met at their Culture Center to figure out what they could do to help family over there. Because of all the generosity from people in Rochester and beyond, they now need a warehouse to keep up with all the donations.
Roman Bosak of Rochester, who’s a member of Guardians of Hope spent two weeks on his last visit to Ukraine helping deliveries make it to the Ukrainian military and people living in active war zones, including Bakmut. He describes the suffering he witnessed because of the war.
“When you’re walking around there and you see people that are so desperate because they have no water, they have no heat, they have no electricity, and no means of getting food,” Bosak said. “They’re literally stuck and waiting for someone to come help them. While there’s explosions every 5-20 seconds.”
But in the middle of this brutality, he stumbled upon paramedics treating the wounded thanks to an ambulance and equipment sent over by Roc Maidan paid for by donations from Rochester.
“Whoever gave a dollar or even a cent towards that fund I want them to know that dollar they donated is being used to help and save the lives of others,” Bosak said. “Soldiers that are wounded are being taken in. It’s amazing to see something that near and dear to my heart and to my city.”
In their most recent shipment, Roc Maidan Coordinator Volodymyr Pavlyuk and his team raised enough funds to purchase generators for the winter as Russian artillery attacks Ukraine’s energy sources to cut off heat to people.
“They’re big enough for daycares and some small businesses and we did purchase two big 80-W generators,” Pavlyuk said. “And they’ll be used to pump water at water pump stations and for breakers.”
For its first aid package of 2023, Roc Maidan is turning its attention to sending over as many canes, walkers, and wheelchairs as it can. To support people and soldiers wounded by Russia’s aggression. At a time when leaders are hearing Ukrainian hospitals are low on inventory.
“A lot of hospitals were bombed by the Russian military,” Pavlyuk continued. “So they are in high demand of equipment to receive support from us. Especially surgical tables, URMC gave us a donated surgical table.”
Board Members of Roc Maidan shared this past year has been a roller coaster of emotions as they work to supply the frontlines and those displaced by the war. But they are not surprised how the Greater Rochester Area stepped up to help their cause.
“Rochester is known to be generous, thoughtful, and kind,” Roc Maidan Board Member Elena Dilai told us. “And we have seen that over the last year in this organization. Without the support of this community, we would not be able to do what we are doing.”
The next shipment by Roc Maidan is scheduled to be sent to Ukraine by the end of this month. Leaders with the non-profit stress no donation is too small, so if you can help all their contact information can be found by clicking here.
The U.S Federal Government is also in the process of sending the Ukrainian military new precision-guided rockets, and hawk air defense firing units. Other countries joining with their own military aid include Germany, Italy, and France.