Projects to Rescue At-Risk People and Respond to Urgent Supply Needs
Name of the Project
Date of Completion
Przemysl Supply Project
VM4U vans travel to the Polish-Ukrainian border on a daily basis and deliver suppliers to and bring refugees from the Polish-Ukrainian border. Based on VM4U driver reports, the Przemysl, Poland Refugee Center has urgent supply shortages of female and baby specific supplies. VM4U drivers were tasked to prioritize these items when loading the daily vans with supplies. These specific supplies are raised from donations to St. Barbara’s church and purchased by VM4U van drivers enroute to the Polish-Ukrainian border. VM4U van drivers delivered these specific supplies to the Przemysl Refugee Center on 2022-03-08.
Filip, chairman of the city council in Puszczykowo, Poland reached out to VM4U with an urgent need of basic supplies for an improvised refugee center in their city housing 100 refugees (at that time), mostly women and children. The chairman provided a supply list which included basic appliances such as a refrigerator, 2 washing machines, 2 TV’s, 2 vacuum cleaners, and kitchen appliances and utensils in addition to clothes, school supplies, food, hygiene, baby supplies, and bicycles. A VM4U project manager tapped their personal networks and raised the estimated €7,500 of supplies privately. VM4U donations covered the cost of a 3.5 ton cargo truck rental and delivery. The supplies were delivered on 2022-03-25.
On 3/25-26, 67 orphans from 3 months- 7 years old (along with 28 care givers + their 15 children) were transported from the Ukrainian border to Burgauberg-Neudauberg (Burgenland, Austria). This was achieved working closely with Kleine Herzen, the Red Cross, First Aid First Hand, Save Ukraine and the Austrian government. VM4U role was mission leadership, logistics, supplies, and volunteers. VM4U donations were used to charter the buses and pay for supplies.
On 3/26-27, 43 at-risk mothers and their children were transported from the Ukraine border to a campus in Gaming, Austria. This was achieved working closely First Aid First Hand. VM4U role was the mission leadership, logistics, supplies, and volunteers. VM4U donations were used to charter the buses and pay for supplies.
An Orphanage in Ternopil, Ukraine (~70 orphans and caregivers) reached out to VM4U with an urgent need for supplies. This group provided a list of urgently needed supplies. In partnership with a group of advocates for Ukraine associated with Texas A&M University (USA), the VM4U Project Manager made procurements of the requested items which were transported to the Ukrainian border on 3/27 using a van provided by First Hand First Aid (www.firstaid-firsthand.de) where they met a second van sent by the orphanage. VM4U donations were used to procure supplies.
Medyke Water Supply Project
Following reports of sever water shortages Medyke, Poland border crossing on 3/23, VM4U immediately began running water this location. 5 tons of bottled water were delivered by VM4U. The shortage was alleviated by cooler weather on 3/30. VM4U van teams, and Team Fynn, an independent van team from the UK, were involved in the transportation. VM4U donations were used to purchase the water.
As mainstream supply lines to refugee centers formed, situation specific supplies were not included in the initial waves of supplies. Situation specific supply shortages were discovered by VM4U van teams during their daily visits to the various refugee centers in Poland. These situation specific supply shortages initially included female specific supplies, pet supplies, and medical supplies related to the freezing temperatures. As the mainstream supply lines caught up to the needs, new situation specific supply shortages appeared, such as extended stay supplies including underwear, shampoo, soap, and basic medications, and as temperatures increased, bottled water. VM4U quickly answered the supply shortages at Polish Refugee Centers within 24 hours of the discovery of a shortage. Most supplies were sourced from material donations to St. Barbara’s Church, some supplies were raised from VM4U direct material donations, and other supplies were procured using VM4U donations. VM4U volunteers transported these supplies directly to the Polish refugee centers where they were desperately needed.
35 at-risk people without the means to evacuate without support, departed by bus from Ternopil, Ukraine on 4/13 and arrived at Ukraine Arrival Center (UAC) in Vienna, Austria on 4/14. VM4U donations covered the cost to charter the bus. VM4U volunteers, including a project manager and human trafficking safeguards officer, planned, prepared, and staffed the operation.
Filip is city council chairman of Puszczykowo, Poland, a city of ~9000 people. He previously reached out to VM4U for help to furnish the Refugee Center that was born from necessity in their town. Filip has informed us that the population of their center has continued to rise to ~500 refugees and that further furnishings are needed. A VM4U Project Manager raised the additional supplies from their personal networks which include washing machine, clothes dryer (machine), 1 or 2 tv, electric cooker, hygiene products, school furniture, and cleaning supplies. VM4U donations were used to buy a dryer and cover delivery costs. The van was generously provided by the First Aid First Hand organization, www.firstaid-firsthand.de. These supplies were delivered on 2022-04-28.
VM4U received a request for help from a hospital in Pokotylivka, Ukraine, a Kharkiv suburb. Working with the Pokotylivka medical team, a list of critical medicines, which are affordable and accessible in Vienna but are a question of life and death around Kharkiv, was made. The list included medications such as Metformin (high blood pressure), Insulin (diabetes), Levothyroxine (thyroid), and others. The cost of the medication was covered by St. Barbara’s Church, procured by VM4U, and transported by the YOUkraine organization. The shipment consisted of 2 x 20+ kg boxes with requested life-critical medications. The package was sent out. VM4U later received news that the same day the shipment arrived, the hospital was bombed. Several people died, and more people were buried in debris. The office of a medical team responsible for our donation was also destroyed. The only thing left was the door and a kettle. By luck, neither the medical team, nor the donation was in the office at that time. There were many incredible coincidences this day, but also tragedy. A week later the first photos of medicine distribution started to come in. Despite everything, this project became a success.
VM4U received a donation of medical grade baby food and associated feeding tubes from a private donor. Utilizing VM4U networks, a need in Ukraine was identified and the medical supplies were shipped to the Uzhhorod, Ukraine City Clinic.
The Österreich Hilft Ukraine (OHU) organization is a humanitarian aid collection and distribution center in Vienna which supports ~1000 refugee families. OHU reached out to VM4U in need of specific supplies, especially diapers. The VM4U Project Manager connected the ‘Daughters of the American Revolution organization with OHU and supplied €500 of aid.
The Österreich Hilft Ukraine (OHU) organization is a humanitarian aid collection and distribution center in Vienna which supports ~1000 refugee families. OHU reached out to VM4U with an urgent need of diapers, sizes 5, 6, and 7. VM4U responded by sending a team to the METRO bulk supply store here in Vienna, purchasing diapers, and delivering them to OHU.