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In A Church In East Hollywood, Volunteers Show Up Every Day To Pack First-Aid Supplies For Ukraine

A small group of people hold Ukrainian flags and carry handmade signs that read "Hands off Ukraine" and "Putin Go Home."
A rally at the Federal Building in L.A. to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
(Robert Garrova
/
LAist)
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In response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an average of about 30 local Ukrainians have been showing up daily to the St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Los Angeles to help pack boxes with a variety of emergency aid.

They’ve been packing things like first aid and hospital supplies, along with items that can be used by the military — such as flashlights and binoculars — and other critical items such as baby formula, said Seva Mohylyak, who’s coordinating the effort.

“The basement in the church is packed with stuff ready to go,” said Mohylyak, a Ukrainian immigrant whose father is a surgeon in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv.

It’s all headed for Ukraine on a flight scheduled to leave LAX on Thursday.

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Mohylyak said he got involved a little over a week ago, after he asked his father what kind of medical supplies would be needed to help people injured in the fighting.

He began collecting medical supplies in his apartment, then eventually connected with the church and the broader Ukrainian humanitarian effort in L.A. that’s been growing since Russia invaded Ukraine last month.

This past Sunday, local Ukrainians and others gathered at the Ukrainian Culture Center in East Hollywood to coordinate efforts. At the same time, volunteers assembled a large number of medical first-aid kits to send over.

Mohylyak said these, along with the supplies that are being packed at the church, will be flown to Poland on Thursday by a shipping company with local offices that serves Eastern Europe. From there, the plan is to truck the supplies to Lviv, which is near the Polish border and has become a hub for relief shipments.

More aid flights from L.A. are planned in the coming days and weeks, Mohylyak said.

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Here’s more information on local efforts to help Ukraine.

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