STUART, Fla. — Humanitarians from Stuart are in Eastern Europe. All for their mission to help families impacted in Ukraine.
"It's devastating. It's absolutely devastating and makes me so sad that a place that should be growing crops for the whole world is burning instead," said Ann Roman.
Roman, along with her son, Andy Roman, has family roots in Ukraine and started the organization UkranianPeace.Org and now have their boots on the front lines.
"Last time I was in Ukraine was about a month ago, and recently they've been doing a lot more bombing in the central and western part of the country, which makes me very nervous," said Andy Roman.
The group brought two fuel containers of diesel, three pallets of food, as well as 70 body vests, a portion of which were donated by the Martin County Sheriff's Office.
"I mean, you feel a lot better with a bulletproof vest on," said Andy Roman. "We have enough that we can put them in the door panels to make the van a little more bulletproof so everyone on the bus has a lot more peace of mind."
Thanks to donations, they were also able to buy an extra bus, which they will use to bring supplies into impacted parts of Ukraine. They hope to rescue hundreds of people looking to flee the war-torn country.
"I know everything will go according to plan, because everything has been miraculously successful," said Andy Roman. "I know this is God's plan for me and I'm all confident, ready to go and I'm not afraid. We're going to keep pushing until the war is over and then we're not going to stop because there's a lot of work to be done."
Andy Roman will bring Ukrainian refugees back into places, like the Czech Republic and Poland, where his mother is helping at shelters.
"It's really hard for me as a mom to see other moms struggling because they're trying to be really strong and they are," said Ann Roman. "They're really strong women and they've left their husbands and fathers and brothers behind, and they've taken their children and moms to safe spaces."
Through the churches, families will receive supplies and shelter but also learn new languages as they adapt to their new lives outside of Ukraine.
"We're not done helping not by a long shot," said Andy Roman. "We're going to come home, raise more money, come back, do more good, save more lives, get more supplies into Ukraine to the people who need them and, when the war is over, we're going to help rebuild, and I hope everybody wants to support us in doing that."
The group is now working to buy a truck to help churches deliver 30,000 pounds of food into Ukraine in a single trip.
"This is amazing," said Ann Roman. "This is beyond anything we've ever faced."
They also plan to help with Operation Sunflower, where they'll help a grower in Stuart grow 10,000 sunflowers that will be sold with proceeds going to Ukraine relief.