“Truly the outpouring of help and support has been overwhelming”: Volunteers load truck heading to Ukraine

About 30 Volunteers were inside St. Matthew Orthodox Church taping up boxes and forming a line to load them onto a truck.
Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 10:06 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - People in Northeast Wisconsin continue to show their support for Ukrainians. A truckload of supplies left Green Bay on Tuesday, carrying thousands of items bound to the war ravaged nation.

About 30 Volunteers were inside St. Matthew Orthodox Church taping up boxes and forming a line to load them onto a truck.

“Truly the outpouring of help and support has been overwhelming, and we appreciate everybody’s efforts and everybody’s prayers as well,” Olga Halaburda Heitpas, a board member and public relations coordinator for Wisconsin Ukrainians, said.

Lita Marino is a registered nurse from the Appleton area who decided to volunteer her time.

“The support has been overwhelming. I mean just volumes of people volunteering, wanting to help,” Marino said. “This is such a take over of democracy, it is such an invasion of people’s lives and humanity. I mean these are war crimes that are occurring.”

Wisconsin Ukrainians, Inc organized Tuesday’s efforts at St. Matthew Orthodox Church. The group has done at least four shipments over the last three weeks out of the church, sending items to Ukraine as Russia continues its bombardment of the country, displacing millions of citizens.

“Because of that incredible support throughout our state and everywhere, there are items that we don’t need at this time. So please, don’t bring any clothes new or used,” Wisconsin Ukrainians founder Jonathan Pylypiv said.

According Wisconsin Ukrainians, it is now entering a second phase in its efforts focusing on monetary donations in order to buy supplies from trusted partners in Europe.

“We save on shipping costs and we save on the time of shipping,” Halaburda Heitpas said.

Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton provided the truck used on Tuesday, along with a driver.

“Of course we have a truck driving program at Fox Valley Tech and what a better way to help with this cause then by helping transport some of the goods,” Rob Behnke, director of truck driving at Fox Valley Technical College, said.

The truck will be leaving from the technical college’s campus in Appleton at 8 a.m. Wednesday and then continue to the Milwaukee area for another pick up.

“I think there’s a certain resilience that Ukrainian people have that have faced centuries of oppression from everybody around them,” Father John Thetford of St. Matthew Orthodox Church said.

If you’re interested in donating to Wisconsin Ukrainians, Inc, here is a link to their website: https://donorbox.org/wisconsin-ukrainians/?fbclid=IwAR2wSpuBMmffrK0srrsaoiQUfRkZW14p3U74CBkXdKPOgeJCCyObkEHmw1Y.

You can also visit them at their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/wisconsinukrainians/

Volunteers helped load the supplies into trucks Tuesday.
This is the fourth truck of supplies from Wisconsin Ukrainians.

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