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Cleveland area organizations helping Ukrainian refugees in Poland

One area man is even serving as eyes on the ground for the Cleveland Maidan Association and MedWish as they pack urgently needed supplies.

CLEVELAND — As war continues in Eastern Europe, Clevelanders are on the ground at the border of Poland and Ukraine to help refugees as they cross.

"Ever since the first Russian attack on Ukraine in Kiev, I've been thinking about what I can do," Ukrainian-American Antoniy Fulmes, who calls Cleveland home, told 3News. "What's the best way I can help?"

RELATED: Russian forces escalate attacks on Ukraine's civilian areas

This is a glimpse through Fulmes' eyes at what's happening once people fleeing Ukraine make it safely out.

"There are a lot of people sleeping on cottages, as you can see over here," he said while speaking to us from the country. "People here are so strong, and you can see how families are sticking through with everything, staying hopeful."

Fulmes says one of the biggest needs is medical supplies, something the Cleveland Maidan Association and MedWish are packing right now.

"Book of Hope is one of our long-standing Ukrainian partners," Allison Busser with MedWish said, "and they are shipping out three containers on Monday."

Antoniy, other aid workers, and these vital supplies will be awaiting refugees after a long journey.

"People are coming across the border scared and cold without any clothes, scared and cold and don't know what to do, so we have to provide them with these essential items," Fulmes noted. "[There are] a lot of people with broken feet, sprained feet, a lot of leg injuries, since a lot of them had to walk over."

After talking to Antoniy, MedWish realized just how prominent foot injuries are from walking those long distances. They just received 11 pallets of orthopedic supplies.

Having those eyes on the ground to pinpoint urgent needs is proving valuable in packing smart, as Ukrainians in Northeast Ohio show no signs of slowing support for those back home.

"I mean, how can you not help right now, if you can?" Andriy Voyetskiy with the Cleveland Maidan Association asked. "I mean, how do you sleep at night? When you know there's a war out there, there's children dying, there's people dying — not soldiers just regular people. I mean, they're bombing regular people."


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