I think anyone who knows me even a little knows by now I’m in Krakow with my family for the summer helping where we can with the war effort. We’ve been helping Team Krakow who transports goods into Ukraine, some all the way to the front lines, and we’ve been helping with a local refugee shelter.
As far as anyone knows Team Krakow are the only ones driving supplies all the way into the front lines. Here’s a map of last week’s route. As you can see their final stop was all the way to the red. Stop one Lviv, stop two Vinnytsia, stop three Bratslav, stop four Uman, stop five Dnipro, stop six Kramatorsk, final stop Bakhmut.
I sat down with my friend Peter a couple days ago to talk about his recent trip to Ukraine and I want to share it with you. We met at a cute cafe opened by Ukranians here in Krakow.
They took three vans and two SUVs. While I’m talking about it, they’re trying to raise funds for a fourth van. $6,000 USD will buy one. You can donate to them directly here, or you can send money to me and tell me exactly who you want me to give it to and how you want it used and I’ll deliver it. I’ll even make you a little video of me delivering the money for you. My Venmo is @TravelTeachRead or here is my GoFundMe. Excluding donated goods these trips are costing $500 USD in fuel alone and they’re doing a transport a week.
They dropped off microscopes to a military hospital in Vinnytsia, then on to an airport where they dropped off:
Medical dressings, Tactical vests
Clothes, and other special equipment all to be delivered to the front lines.
One empty van returned to Krakow.
Vinnytsia is the town that made international headlines recently. It’s the town that was bombed and the three year old little girl was killed while walking with her mother. They met a soldier who was there and saw the whole thing. They said he was a wreck and cried while telling them the story. The location is closed to the public but they were granted special permission to enter.
Next they moved on to Bratslav where there is a forgotten psychiatric hospital. There’s a war going on so no one’s thinking about this place and their needs, but they are dire.
They were supplied with:
Wheel chairs, walkers, medicines (70% of the supplies they were given were medicines), adult diapers, soap, laudry detergent, disinfectants, food, dressings for bed sores, a generator and lamps.
The washing machines at the hopital are broken. Funding has stopped arriving. The place is in a shape of total disarray. Team Krakow has done what they could, but the hospital needs more. Please donate. On their return trip they will stop here again with more supplies.
At this point a second van was empty and returned to Krakow. Everyone else pressed on. Moved forward to Uman and then Dnipro in the east where they delivered:
Hospital beds, wheel chairs, walkers, medications, medical dressing, scissors, surgical supplies, other medical supplies, and one of the SUVs was donated to the military
At this point everyone but one brave soul, the amazing Tomasz, a rockstar in my book, pressed on. He drove to Kramatorsk and then to Bakhmut to get supplies all the way into the front lines. This is 4km from the front lines. He send videos of himself talking and you can hear bombs going off in the background the whole time.
Tactical vests, optical scopes, an entire pallet of shoes, socks, underwear, medicines, first aid kits, and turnicates all to the soldiers fighting in the front. At the time of the unload it was too dangerous for him to return. He was told he’d had to stay overnight. Then, when it was time to go the next day he was told to remove all the humanitarian aid signs from the van. He was told as a civillian vehicle he had a better chance of making it out. The Russians are targeting humantarian aid vehicles.
They came back with parts of a rocket. What’s that big piece of metal in the back of your car right next to the baby seat, Peter? Oh just a piece of a rocket.
I’ve been here two weeks now and I’ve had a few people offer to hop on a plane to come help. I gotta tell ya. I’m here. What they need is money. People are offering to get on a plane and fly here to help and when I tell them don’t come in person, send money, they don’t do either. And it’s really sad. The cost of three people flying from the US to Krakow, getting a place to stay, and eating for a month could buy a van for Team Krakow. If you really want to help, send money. Money is what’s needed.
We came because we wanted to help. The international news makes it seem like volunteers are desperately needed and we answered that call. But honestly we do a lot of site seeing. I’m glad I’m here seeing it so I can write about it and tell you what’s going on for real. For real: THEY NEED MONEY. SEND MONEY. Send it to me. I’ll give it straight to them. Send it to them. I don’t care. These are good people doing good work. They deserve your support.