Through donations, Ukrainian woman in Idaho seeks to ease suffering of war

Jul 5, 2022, 5:00 PM
Anastasiya Sayer, 11, joins others in rallying against the war in Ukraine at the Capitol in Salt La...
Anastasiya Sayer, 11, joins others in rallying against the war in Ukraine at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Saturday, March 12, 2022.

SALT LAKE CITY — The war in Ukraine may have faded from the headlines. However, a Ukrainian-born woman living in Idaho has not forgotten about Ukrainians’ anguish and suffering at the hands of the Russian military. She is collecting and sending much needed donations to her home country as the war rages on.  

Svitlanna Miller said the first days of Russia’s war on Ukraine was like the beginning of the pandemic when grocery stores started running out of items, they normally do not run short on, such as toilet paper.

“Imagine that, plus if you added rockets dropping on you, and people trying to leave the country fast,” Miller said.

She joined KSL NewsRadio’s Dave Noriega and guest host Greg Skordas to talk about her website toukrainewithlove.org, which is dedicated to helping Ukrainians.

Providing aid during Ukrainian war

Skordas pointed out that recently President Joe Biden announced another $820 million in US arms to supply reinforcements to Ukrainian defenses. But the United States is not directly giving food and medicine.

“But we’re not really delivering food, medical supplies, portable power, things like that. Your organization is stepping up and doing that, isn’t it?” he asked.

She said Lion Energy of American Fork has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of portable solar panel generators to use in places in Ukraine without power. 

Miller added the donation from Lion Energy enabled Ukrainians to charge devices like drones and night-vision devices far from any source of power. She said solar panel generators were not available to purchase in Ukraine or Europe.

“It’s made a huge difference,” she said.

But Miller said much of the aid is going to NATO and not directly to Ukrainians.

“Definitely not enough to feed people in remote towns where the roads are mined. There really is no way for groceries to be delivered. And we’ve gotten handicapped people — the elderly single women. Whose husbands are fighting on the frontline, who have no access to food to water,” she said.

Once the aid is delivered to Ukraine “who helps in deciding how it’s distributed?” Skordas asked.

“I would be lying if I said that it’s an easy thing to decide who gets the aid,” Miller said. ” . . . Mayors of towns and villages submit requests on behalf of the people who are sick or handicapped, who are not able to travel and get the aid they need.”

She said more than 40 drivers receive the requests, then shop for them and drive to those in need. 

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Through donations, Ukrainian woman in Idaho seeks to ease suffering of war