ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — On Friday, a local non-profit is traveling to Ukraine to help those impacted by the ongoing war

This is the second time in roughly two weeks Guardians of Hope is making the trip to the war-torn country. The Rochester-based group serves communities across the world.

On this trip, Guardians of Hope is bringing roughly 50 suitcases filled with medical supplies. 

“We’ve got things from tourniquets to IVs, to children’s medication, cold medication, we’ve got a whole list of stuff from a number of different people that really need these things over there,” said Cameron Knaub, the President of Guardians of Hope.

“Unfortunately, they don’t have access to medical supplies very easily, so unless it’s donated from another country, they just go without.”

Knaub, who is from Hilton, is going with four other area residents to Ukraine. First, they are flying into Poland, where they have set up a distribution center. Then, they will drive truckloads of items, like food, over to Ukraine.

“We actually have a number of people right near our distribution center that go in and out of Kiev and the other hot zones every day,” Knaub said. “When they go to bring people out, now they’re bringing trucks full of food and we’re able to pack baskets with enough food for 10 people for a week. They load their van up when they go into get people out and they leave all the food with those they can’t take.”

Knaub, who is a father of two, said when they’re in Ukraine, they don’t have a ton of time to be worried about safety because they’re so busy. However, they’ve definitely met a lot of very grateful and wonderful people.

“Most of Ukrainians last time were surprised to see an American in their borders,” Knaub said. “When we go through the checkpoints, they would ask for our passports and they look at us really funny every time because they’re wondering why we’re there. Then when we told them why we were there, they were very, very happy.”

While Guardians of Hope plans to stay in Ukraine for a week this time, they say their mission is just beginning. Their goal is to continue bringing a little hope to the hopeless.

“Everything that we do, that’s the driving passion behind it,” Knaub said. “You’ve got number of people, millions of people, who have traveled from the west side to the east side, they’ve got what’s on their back, and maybe a little bit more. Even if we can provide a little bit of hope to them today with food, shelter, clothing, things that they need, that’s our goal.” 

So far, Guardians of Hope has raised thousands of dollars for food, medical supplies, toys for orphanages, and more. Knaub said he really appreciates all the support from those in the Western New York.

“It’s amazing. It’s been unbelievable to see the amount of people that want to get behind what’s going on,” Knaub said. “Thank you to everybody in the Rochester area that’s done so much to support us.”

Guardians of Hope is still looking for monetary and medical donations for those in Ukraine. 

You can support them by donating to their Ukrainian Relief Project. Click here for details