Support Ukraine – Update #2
Hey everyone, we are safe. I thought it would be good/helpful to post regular updates here. We are staying strong. We are keeping busy – today (Wednesday) was very productive, you bought a lot of medical supplies for people of Mykolaiv and two big power generators for the local defense here in the West. I’m intentionally saying YOU and not WE because it is you who financed these supplies. Your help is tremendously appreciated.
If you want to help us, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. That’s a special email set up by our friend Denzil Quick in Phoenix, Arizona. Read more HERE. Below are the latest updates from Denzil, posted with his permission:
Hello Everyone, me again.
Once again, the outpouring of love and support from the creative community is amazing. I know that Yana, Oles and the people we have touched in the Ukraine are beyond grateful for the support the people in this group and around the world have given to them.
I was able to connect with Yana and Oles a few times today and they are doing well and are safe. Yana was working on some cards for social media, not even a war can stop her passion…that is true love. Yana is a true Warrior Princess and Oles is our Warrior with a pocket protector. 🙂
We have new people joining us everyday so if I repeat myself, I apologize as I try to get them up to speed on our accomplishments and where the donations are going.
Just a quick total, if we are not over $30K in donations, we are a stone’s throw away. We have global contributors and have 4 different currencies going on so we try to double and triple check the math. Of the $30K, that includes about $6K worth of checks that are committed and being mailed to me so they are not in the bank yet. So thrilled to see the response, we would have never dreamed this would grow like it has.
We also had an issue with some Zelle payments that are hung up and I did contact Zelle today via email and the auto response said I should have an answer tomorrow. I will reach out to individuals if Zelle needs anything so if your Zelle payment has not been posted give it a few days. Venmo has been great so far.
Tonight was a lot of work, I’m not going to lie. Most of the sources for trauma medical equipment and supplies in Europe and Poland in particular are out of inventory because of the war. As I touched on before, we try to source locally so 100% of your donations go to the actual supplies and not logistics. Today I asked my boss Marc at Spellbinders if we can source medical supplies in the U.S., will Spellbinders pay for the freight to get them to Poland and then across the border and he agreed. Thank you Marc!! (He is copied on this email.) We think this is temporary as supplies are rushing to the area and we are told they will be back in stock shortly. As soon as they are, we are also ready with money to spend.
So, this evening I purchased 50 Celox Hemostatic Gauze, 30 Emergency Tourniquets, and 6 full Trauma first aid kits (the same thing first responders use) that were available at U.S. suppliers. We have to adapt, overcome and improvise. That’s about $4K worth of medical supplies because of this amazing group. Tomorrow, Oles is acquiring another thermal camera for a unit of fighters that are located in Kyiv. As you see in the news they are taking lots of civilian losses but the freedom fighters that are a mix of civilians and military are giving them hell and inflicting lots of damage to the Russian military. We are ready to purchase thousands of dollars of medical supplies the moment they are back in stock and will let you know when that happens.
Lastly, I never dreamed in a million years I would be doing this. When the war started we all felt helpless and when talking with Yana and Oles, this whole thing just kind of happened organically because you all were asking “how can I help?” It started because of you. We are simply facilitators because of your desire to help others in need. I know many of you are contributing because you love Yana but I’m going to tell you that not only does none of this go to Yana or Oles, they have put in thousands of dollars of their own money to this effort. They are doing this work sometimes at home, sometimes in a shelter to help their fellow country men and women stay free.
The need is beyond our imagination as we sit at home watching this unfold on our TVs or internet it feels like it is both a world away but next door at the same time. The next step is to contact your political representatives and let them know Red or Blue, we do not care, this has got to stop NOW. We must do greater sanctions to stop a truly mad-man. We are sitting in 1937 and we know how that went, if this escalates the world could be a very different place in the blink of an eye.
Our passion has brought us together, our love for humanity has given us this purpose, our courage must tell our leaders that we are in charge and it is problems like this for which they were elected. Now I’m off of my soapbox.;-) Love you all.
For a FREE Ukraine!
Hello to my creative friends.
Above all else, Yana and Oles are still safe. Our hearts are with the friends and families of those Ukrainians who are not as lucky and who have been killed or are homeless because of this monster.
I want to give you a quick update on the supplies and then talk about a few things that I have received questions on.
Today, Oles spoke with the local person in charge of the logistical supplies to discuss the needs they have. He said they need 3 things 1) hand 2-way radios for local communication (non-cell phone) 2) Medical Supplies 3) a way to transport the supplies.
It sounds like they are getting lots of medical supplies from us, the red cross and many other organizations who are doing a great job, but unfortunately the demand is still larger than the supply. With all of the medical, food and other supplies going from Poland to the Ukraine, it is a challenge to move things around once across the border. Most cars in the Ukraine are small, not a lot of pick-up trucks like we have here in the U.S. What trucks they do have are being used for military purposes.
To help with needs #1 and #3, today Oles purchased Radios from the UK, which will be ready for service in a few days, they are in transit. He is also working with his Polish contacts to purchase a small used toyota pick-up for a couple thousand dollars to ferry supplies from the Polish border to a checkpoint in the Ukraine for division to local fighters and first responders from Lviv to Kyiv.
For need #2, I spoke to the Polish consulate today and we tried to figure out how we can send medical supplies to Poland without needing to pay an import Tax when they arrive. We think that we have a solution and are sending the order from yesterday out as a test. If that works, the U.S. has virtually anything we need, but freight is still an issue. We would still prefer to purchase locally in Poland but if they are out of stock, we will improvise.
After a crazy good Saturday, Sunday and Monday today slowed down on fundraising but it allowed us to make calls and purchases and get supplies moving. I got a little too excited yesterday because it looks like after a couple of donations today we are sitting over $29K but just shy of $30K for this amazing group. Well done!!! Once Oles purchases the transportation, we will look at our balance and make a big buy of medical supplies to exhaust most of our funds unless the local officials change the needs as the situation on the ground changes.
Now for a few notes. I reached out to Zelle again regarding a few transfers that still show pending. No word back from them, I will give them one more day. I received the first few checks and am depositing them so we will have those funds available shortly.
I have had a few people who have asked about donating medical supplies they have or holsters and gun belts and other equipment. I wish we could do all of those things but we are simply not set up for that. This was a small idea that took-off. It’s just Yana, Oles, me and a couple of helpers in Poland. However, the Red Cross is an amazing organization and they are world-wide, I’m sure if you have medical supplies they might be able to help.
I’ve tried to answer all of the “one-off” questions that I have received but if you have anything, please send me your questions. Lastly, this is not a Spellbinders charity. Yana Oles and I happen to work for Spellbinders and they are helping us but this is just one amazing woman with a big voice connecting with you all and a couple of guys who are pretty good at getting shit done efficiently. We saw a need, you all wanted to help and we have collectively made a very positive impact.
I was talking with my cousin a few hours ago and he was a Navy Officer and a very smart guy, he said 90% of winning a war is logistics. The numbers of tanks and troops and airplanes matter but if the soldiers die from wounds, are not fed and watered, if the trucks don’t have fuel or tires, you lose the war. The Russians have the numbers for now, but we have the fight in us, we have the passion for FREEDOM and we have some bad-ass crafters that are really pissed off.
I will leave you with this…I was chatting with Yana today and I told her how mad and how pissed off I was (I don’t like feeling that way). She gave me good advice to stay mad, stay pissed off and use that as power to feed the motivation to win. I made a promise to Oles and Yana that after they win this war, I’m going to Ukraine to help them to clean-up and rebuild. I hope to see you there soon.
For a FREE Ukraine!
Thank you all so much for your support! You keep us going. Thank you again!
Patricia WilsonMarch 10, 2022
Sending love and prayers today. Stay safe and you are in our thoughts.
Yana SmakulaMarch 11, 2022
thank you, Patricia!
J LambMarch 10, 2022
We are all in your side.
Yana SmakulaMarch 11, 2022
thank you so much!
dianaMarch 26, 2022
you have so much talent and you work very hard. thank you so much for all the videos and instructions. they have changed my crafting life! stay safe my friend—diana
gabmccannMarch 10, 2022
You are doing such amazing work.
Yana SmakulaMarch 11, 2022
thank you, we try to do our best. We must stay strong and win this war!
Barbara A Clinton (Bobbie)March 10, 2022
In my thoughts and prayers frequently throughout the day and if I wake up in the night. We have raised thousands, near $100,000 for supplies, food and protective gear for Ukrainian people. We have several people working there. Never give up hope! I have bought things from links to spellbinder and Amazon to send funds to help you too.
Yana SmakulaMarch 11, 2022
thank you so much, Barbara! I can’t even begin to tell you how much I appreciate your help and support. THANK YOU!
Katherine OliverMarch 11, 2022
Yana you are loved. Praying for your situation every day. Gods Speed for an end and victory soon!! Stay strong and keep believing. The World is on your side!!
Samra LeshinskiMarch 12, 2022
Dear Yana, I hope that you will stay safe and this horrific war stops already! I have been donating all the proceeds from my Etsy card sales to the Red Cross of Ukraine and matching all the sale with additional donation, since the war in Ukraine started. It is not much, but we donated $920 so far and plan on continuing this effort. Stay strong and know that we all stand with you and your country!
Kathy GumberyMarch 12, 2022
Yana – one of my dearest friends is from Ukraine, and I am happy to do what I can to support your brave people. I pray Ukraine will soon be whole, strong and free, as it should be! Blessings!
Donna PhelanMarch 15, 2022
We stand with you and all of the good people of Ukraine! Be brave, be safe! Praying for a swift and peaceful end to this madness! (((hugs)))
Ann RosieMarch 16, 2022
Checking in on you every day Yang, as Ukraine is in our thoughts constantly. May you continue to stay safe and have a FREE Ukraine soon. Much love from a fellow (but no-where as talented) crafter. Xxx