As many of you may know, my wife Nadiia is from Ukraine moving to Massachusetts in 2018. While she is safe here in Newburyport all of her family and friends are living in her hometown, Nova Kahovka in Ukraine (40,000 people living in this city and much more if you include the surrounding villages).
Since the first day of the war Feb 24th, her town and surrounding towns were occupied by the Russian military. They have been bombing surrounding towns and parts of her town. Some people have fled to other villages, but most have nowhere to go and they are all running out of money to purchase food and medicine.
Nadiia and I quickly started fundraising to send money directly to her bank account in Ukraine. This is allowing us to send money electronically directly to our local in-country volunteers that Nadiia has been working with since March 3rd. We are delivering food, medicine and essentials to over 1000 people to date. If you would like to browse our prior updates please visit Our Progress page as well as our Press page.
Our Progress | March 25th 2022
The last four days since our March 20th update have certainly had their ups and downs. Our volunteers are continually getting stopped by Russian Military check points throughout the city, asking questions and reviewing cellphone photos and messages for information that may point to organized protesting or other information. Thankfully this is only a small interruption for our volunteers.
We are using 3 cars with 2 volunteers each delivering food to people. Due to the uncertainty of cellular being cut and re-established our volunteers are now operating with three different cellular carriers to ensure they are connected. Their connection is crucial in making sure deliveries and communications are not disrupted.
We have also had some difficulty in the last few days working directly with one of our now five suppliers in purchase our bulk food orders after a Russian armored truck arrived at one of these locations threating the owners and taking food which enviably forced them to close within days. Our volunteers have anticipated this possibility which is why we have been creating partnerships with other suppliers since we started.
We are now trying to package our delivery bags to last 10 days to not only save on gasoline but in hopes to increase the number of people we are able to reach per week.
We have also expanded our ‘essentials’ list to those without power to include radios, candles, flashlights and power banks to keep people connected.
As the Russian Military continues its aggression in surrounding villages people are fleeing to Nova Kahovka. These families are forced to move into local college dormitories as well as other public buildings to find shelter, but these locations have no kitchens and no way to cook meals. To respond to this, we are continuing to work with local restaurants willing to use our base ingredients (potatoes, rice, flour, cooking oil, pasta, some spices, root vegetables as well as whatever they have on hand) and prepare warm meals for those refugees.
We are also able to wire our electronic funds, when needed, directly to local food distributors in exchange for hryvnia (Ukrainian currency). This allows these suppliers to reduce their paper currency on hand. This not only reduces the exposure of cash on hand to break-ins but also the risk of the Russian military to forcibly take it, if found they have large amounts of cash. We are then able use this cash to buy medicines and other essentials when cash is only accepted.
Earlier this week we processed another $8000 transfer to Ukraine for a larger purchase of food and medicines. To date we have purchased about $31,000 in food, medicines and essentials and delivering as we go. Our current goal is to maintain at least 5-7 days of stored supplies to stay ahead of our deliveries.
Your donations continue to be matched dollar for dollar by the generosity of Daniel Healey increasing our purchase power so we can help more people in need.
For more information on how your donation is helping how to make a difference in the lives of Ukrainian people, please explore our website https://novakahovka.life to learn more.
Thank you again for your support.
Jarred & Nadiia Sadowski