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South Florida women organize effort to help Ukrainians

Next plane with medical supplies leaves for Ukraine Monday
Posted at 4:43 PM, Mar 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-13 16:43:21-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — As the war in Ukraine continues, here in South Florida, three women are providing relief to the war-torn region.

As Mariya Kemper-Reiss of Boca Raton saw the images from Ukraine, she knew she had to do something.

“As I sat down, I thought about what's the best infrastructure, what’s the best way of doing this in a more massive scale,” said Kemper-Reiss.

She had connections with the Ukrainian postal service and was able to deliver over 1,600 items worth more than $31,000 sent abroad to Poland and then taken in trucks to western Ukraine.

“Something as simple as ibuprofen to as extensive as the tourniquets that are going to absolutely stop the bleeding,” said co-organizer Summer Faerman.

The idea to send medical supplies was a no-brainer.

“Not only are you going through a disaster zone, you’re also going into a war zone,” said co-organizer Brittney Suarez. “So it’s very dangerous as well as very difficult.”

Kemper-Reiss fled the Soviet Union when she was just 15 years old. Now she wants to help her family and her home country.

“When I ask them if they’re scared, they don't really answer,” said Kemper-Reiss. “They're like we don't really have a choice.”

But here in the states, we have the choice.

“We can maybe not understand and feel what war is in the comfort of our homes but we can provide the necessities for the people in need,” said Faerman.

The next plane filled with medical supplies leaves on Monday. Their next plan is to have a local mobilized effort in Boca Raton that will collect non-essential items to help those vulnerable in Ukraine. For more information on how the supplies are arriving at Ukraine, click here. To donate, click here.