Ukrainian Association of WA looking toward second aid flight to Ukraine

Mar 29, 2022, 5:34 PM
(Courtesy Port of Seattle)...
(Courtesy Port of Seattle)
(Courtesy Port of Seattle)

The aid flight carrying 32 tons and more than $3.5 million worth of medical supplies for Ukraine was still in the air en route to Poland when the Ukrainian Association of Washington was already planning a second aid flight.

The flight was organized by the Ukrainian Association, Nova Ukraine, the Ukrainian Student Association at Stanford, Medical Teams International, and the Ukrainian-American Cultural Association of Oregon and Southwest Washington, in partnership with the Ukrainian Honorary Consulate in Seattle, Governor Jay Inslee’s Office, and the Port of Seattle.

For the past month, the Ukrainian Association of Washington had been collecting donations of medical supplies, clothing, and tactical gear, like radios, helmets, and knee pads, from members of the public at a Puyallup warehouse. Hospitals like Overlake Medical Center and EvergreenHealth provided surgical equipment, medical machines, and basic health supplies like bandages and syringes.

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“Everybody in the state of Washington and all around the United States, they were so open and they were so ready to help, so we’ve collected 32 tons of medical supplies,” Ukrainian Association President Liliya Kovalenko told KIRO Newsradio.

Now the group is hoping to be able to replicate the effort with a second cargo plane in the near future.

“We hope so, because we’re working together with the Port of Seattle, with our governor, Jay Inslee, with the mayor of Seattle [Bruce Harrell],” Kovalenko said. “So it looks like we might have some extra help to find a new plane to deliver some medical supplies in the future.”

Kovalenko, who is currently in Poland to help transport the resources from the plane into Ukraine, said the group is still collecting medical supplies and does not plan to let up the effort anytime soon. As long as the war continues and people are still in need, they will keep collecting goods and organizing flights.

“War is still there, and they need our help so desperately. So I’m not going to give up,” Kovalenko said. “I will continue doing what I’m doing, and I have a great group of volunteers who are working with me together tirelessly, day and night.”

It is not just hospitals with specialized equipment that can help out — Kovalenko said regular people can also get involved. The Ukrainian Association is desperately in need of donations of simple over-the-counter pain medications like Tylenol and Advil. Kovalenko said these acetaminophen and ibuprofen pills are very difficult to get in Ukraine at the moment.

“Just going to the store, to the regular pharmacy, and buying some Tylenol, some over-the-counter medicine that they can buy, because in Ukraine, even Tylenol is a big deal right now,” Kovalenko said.

To learn more about how to donate supplies or volunteer your time, and to stay current with all the group’s efforts, visit the Ukrainian Association’s Facebook page.

“Thank you for everybody who is supporting, who is calling — just for the words of support and suggestions. Thank you for all the hospitals that are working with us — they are so open and really helpful,” Kovalenko said. “We really appreciate any kind of help that we receive.”

Follow Nicole Jennings on Twitter or email her here

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Ukrainian Association of WA looking toward second aid flight to Ukraine