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Santa Barbara-based non-profit sending thousands of relief packages to war-torn Ukraine

Posted at 10:15 PM, Apr 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-29 02:30:58-04

A Santa Barbara based non-profit is on the ground in Ukraine, helping refugees displaced by the war.

ShelterBox USA has sent thousands of relief packages to western Ukraine and neighboring Moldova.

"The sense of urgency has been high since this kicked off in February," said Carrie Baptista, marketing director for ShelterBox USA. "We are really working to support as many people as possible, especially because many of the people fleeing are women and children."

ShelterBox USA jumped into action soon after Russia invaded Ukraine.

The global disaster relief organization developed three programs to help people affected by the brutal conflict.

"One is thousands of mattresses that are going into collective centers like schools and churches in western Ukraine for folks that had to flee the eastern part of the country," said Jeremy Jacobs, communications director for ShelterBox USA.

They also sent shelter kits that include tools, tarps and even duct tape.

The products can help refugees repair damaged homes they are sheltering in.

"The third is for refugees going into Moldova and that's smaller items that they can carry with them like hygiene kits or even cash, potentially," said Jacobs.

Volunteers are closely monitoring the situation making sure resources get to where they are needed most in a rapidly evolving war.

"A lot of these refugee populations are very vulnerable but we're also finding that there's a lot of vulnerable people left within the country," said Baptista. "So we're doing our best in Ukraine to make sure that we're supporting people who have had to stay behind, who are living in bombed-out or destroyed buildings and trying to rebuild their lives amid this chaos."

The non-profit is asking for volunteers and cash donations to fund this ongoing effort.