HOUSTON - Humanitarian aid is coming from Houstonians and going straight to those who need it more than 6,000 miles away via our own local people.
We wanted to continue our story on Viktoriya Rawlins, who lives in Sugar Land but has family stuck in Ukraine as Russian troops are moving in.
Through that strife, Rawlins continues to support those fighting in Ukraine, and during the process, she got help from someone she didn’t even know she had a connection with.
"People are amazing," she said. "We didn't expect that so many people will be helpful and supportive."
The problem, however, is getting it in a timely manner to refugees or those fighting in the frigid weather. However, a man named Drew Goodman, who lives in Poland but was born and raised in Clear Lake miraculously connected with Rawlins and is helping get the shipments to those in need.
"He found me, and he was surprised," Rawlins said. "He said he was from Houston, but he is in Poland right now, and he said ‘I am with you guys, and want to work together."
Goodman and his wife Alina, who is also from Ukraine, lives close to the Ukrainian border where people are waiting to come to safety. They are collecting all the goods from those across the world, including from Viktoriya.
"Every day I would come home from a break at work, we cut open boxes, organize everything, and she would take it where it needed to go," Goodman said. "Her family would help. Then we set up another Amazon wishlist to help people from the Territorial Defense with things like gloves and first aid kits because a lot of people are donating to the refugees, and it’s great, but we also need help for people that are fighting that don’t have boots and don’t have things that they need."
His wife and family go to checkpoints along the border where people are allowed to enter.
"What we do is go to each of those points and just ask them ‘what do you guys need? What do you need in general?' We just create the list and put it on Amazon," said Mr. Goodman.
"They just asked people to bring everything you can that look like military," Mrs. Goodman said. "Boots that are thick, good. Those are just normal people that came and said I am ready to defend."
"Every single one wants to go back. It is their home, it’s their children’s fathers that are there," added Mr. Goodman. "It’s their wife’s mothers. Because of who we know and what we can do, we want to help these people survive and these people win."
It’s a worldwide system they helped create, and one they say they will continue until victory is declared.
Click here to access their Amazon wishlist *you have to switch it to English*