A cargo plane filled with 32 tons of medical supplies left the Seattle-Tacoma Airport this week for Ukraine. The donated cargo is worth $3.5 million, and roughly $100,000 worth came from Clark County.
The humanitarian aid was coordinated by the nonprofits Nova Ukraine, the Ukrainian Student Association at Stanford, the Ukrainian Association of Washington State and the Ukrainian American Cultural Association of Oregon and Southwest Washington, among others.
The Ukrainian Honorary Consulate in Seattle, Gov. Jay Inslee’s office and the Port of Seattle also helped organize the effort.
The Ukrainian Association of Washington State and the Ukrainian-American Cultural Association of Oregon and Southwest Washington have been collecting donations over the past month to load the plane with supplies. Both organizations collected supplies from the Portland-based nonprofit Medical Teams International and Medical Teams Worldwide. They also collated, sorted and inventoried donations from hospitals such as Evergreen Health Medical Center and Overlake Medical Center.
The Ukrainian American Cultural Association of Oregon and Southwest Washington received a $10,000 donation from Vancouver-based Riverview Community Bank, a $50,000 donation from Camas investor and philanthropist David Nierenberg and multiple donations from Ukrainian churches in Clark County like Ukrainian Baptist Church and Church of Christ the Savior, both of which collected small donations from the community for the organization.
Riverview Community Bank also provided additional donations collected from donation boxes set up at multiple Riverview Community Bank locations.
The supplies those donations helped purchase include surgical supplies, medical machines, general hospital supplies and more. When the plane touches down in Eastern Europe, the supplies will be distributed to hospitals across Ukraine.
“We have been overwhelmed by the support of donors domestically and abroad,” said Liliya Kovalenko, president of the Ukrainian Association of Washington State, who is currently in Poland helping to distribute supplies across Ukraine. “People from all walks of life have earnestly answered the call to action. Without the support of this community, none of this would be possible.”
On Monday, representatives from the organizations that coordinated the aid traveled to Seattle for a ceremony at the Seattle-Tacoma Airport, where multiple community leaders spoke about relief efforts underway throughout the Northwest.
“Once again, Washingtonians are stepping up to serve as a beacon of hope and support in the fight for freedom and democracy,” Gov. Jay Inslee said at the event. “The world has been inspired by the resilience and determination of the Ukrainian people, and we are standing with them and taking action however we can reinforce their efforts.”
Local organizations don’t plan on slowing down now that the cargo plane is headed for Ukraine.
“The goal is to fill another plane,” said Vancouver resident, Riverview Community Bank employee and vice president of the Ukrainian-American Cultural Association of Oregon and Southwest Washington Alex Moskal. “This is our priority, because we see firsthand what people need in Ukraine.”