Utah man’s foundation stepping up to help get winter clothes to Ukraine

Sep 22, 2022, 1:00 PM
Ukraine flag held at Utah rally....
Hundreds of people gather to support Ukraine at the Capitol in Salt Lake City on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022. (Mengshin Lin/Deseret News)
(Mengshin Lin/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Soloman Smith decided he wanted to help, but he went a lot farther than many people would.

“Someone offered to fly me over to Ukraine to help out, and my wife said I should go,” Smith said. “That was not what I was expecting.”

Smith, a Brigham City native, was able to start making connections in Ukraine before he quit his job and started the Backroads Foundation in March of this year. Since its founding, its been able to donate $2.3 million worth of supplies to Ukraine. The foundation has also helped more than 500 displaced Ukrainians.

“We’ve got wonderful, amazing people supporting us,” Smith said. “We’ve been able to serve a lot of good people.”

The foundation is now working to get winter clothes to Ukraine before the colder months arrive.

“We’ve reached out and talked to people, and it’s become a very alarming concern — especially in Eastern Ukraine — that they’re going to freeze,” Smith said.

Reliable power and other issues have plagued the war-torn nation as of late, especially with recent fighting near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.

Smith says they have thousands of pounds of donated winter clothes ready to ship. Smith says they’re working to get the shipping containers to the country where their partnered organizations will disperse them to people in need.

According to a news release, the foundation is looking for monetary support for the shipping costs.

Anyone wanting to get involved or donate to the foundation can find more information on the Backroads Foundation website.

Related: Biden returns to UN as world grapples with Putin’s latest provocations in Ukraine war

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Utah man’s foundation stepping up to help get winter clothes to Ukraine