Rome resident returns to Ukraine to bring aid, medical equipment

Credit: HelpingUkraine.U.S.

Credit: HelpingUkraine.U.S.

Rome resident Ken Ward, who went to Ukraine on Jan. 6 to bring much-needed supplies to the war-torn country, has headed out again.

Ward left for Ukraine Monday with his son Matt after a brief stay back in Georgia. He’s working with former state representative Emory Morsberger of Gwinnett County and the organization he created, HelpingUkraine.US.

So far, Helping Ukraine has delivered more than $1 million worth of medical equipment to Ukraine hospitals.

They’ve also installed several hundred wood burning stoves and distributed several thousand thick blankets in Southeast Ukraine. And they’ve opened six warming centers, so Ukrainians have a place to get warm and perhaps eat a hot meal.

Credit: HelpingUkraine.US.

Credit: HelpingUkraine.US.

Ward said they hope to have 50 more warming centers by Feb. 15 as temperatures in Ukraine remain below freezing.

In a letter sent out to supporters, Morsberger writes, “Our medical equipment has saved dozens of arms, legs and lives. Our stoves, blankets and warming centers will prevent hundreds from freezing. Our generators are powering hospitals and village water systems.”

Morsberger further states that the volunteer force now numbers over 40 people, and will exceed 100 in two weeks.

Ward, a pastor for over 30 years, first visited Ukraine in 1994. He started his work in Moldova, which is just south of Ukraine and north of Romania.

He’s been spreading his faith and planting churches in Moldova and Ukraine for 28 years — 20 churches in Moldova and 17 in Ukraine until the war broke out.

ExploreAtlantans seeing many needs as they reach out to help Ukrainians

Ward said his deep connections with this part of the world came in handy when Russia invaded last spring, and a new type of work began.

As the Russians invaded, there was a rush of refugees fleeing the fighting and moving away from the occupied areas.

However, fighting started in the spring, when the weather was warm and wet. Now that winter is here, keeping warm for the Ukrainians is a matter of life and death.

“All the small villages have really banded together to help each other — especially when it comes to getting blankets and food that last few hundred feet to the person who needs it,” Ward told the RN-T in January. “It’s been really inspirational to me how they are helping each other.”

Credit: Rome News-Tribune

Credit: Rome News-Tribune


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