A Twin Falls man and his friends help Ukrainian refugees

TWIN FALLS, Idaho – As refugees continue to flee Ukraine and enter Poland, many need places to go and the means to get there. A Magic Valley man and his group of friends do what they can to help.

Twin Falls man Rob Sturgill started his charity, Type of Wood Charities, to help with relief efforts in 2014 after a natural disaster struck the Philippines. Charity is now raise fundsto help Ukrainians.

Last week, Sturgill went online and rented vans in Warsaw, Poland.

Last weekend, Sturgill, his brother and their friends from Utah traveled to Poland. There they strive to transport refugees from the Lviv border to safe places.

“It’s all about coordination and communication. From the moment we leave, we try to line up the rides and figure out who we’re going to take and where we’re going to take them,” said Sturgill friend and Utah volunteer John Norton.

Refugees are being flown to relatives, Airbnbs and the homes of people across Europe opening their homes to those seeking refuge. If accommodation is needed, the group arranges it with the help of its team in the United States

“It’s amazing to me that sadness and fear can be swallowed up by this love and kindness from all the people who come together to help their Ukrainian brothers and sisters,” Sturgill said.

Since arriving in Poland, the group has seen people all over the world refrain from helping each other.

“We met people from Spain last night who came all the way with medical supplies and are ready to fill these vans full of people to take them home to Spain,” Sturgill said.

A charity based in the UK, Siobhan’s Confidence is also on the ground in Poland, ready to welcome Ukrainians with food and basic necessities.

“We are a resupply team, so we have a van trailer with resupplies. What we’ve seen is a round-the-clock operation with a steady stream of human traffic crossing the border,” said Neil Laughton of Siobhan’s Trust.

According to to the UN Refugee Agency, more than 3 million refugees have fled Ukraine since 24 February.

“We didn’t just come to support Ukrainians, but we came to support the Polish people and their efforts to help Ukrainians,” Norton said.

You can use Charity Navigator when deciding where to donate to Ukrainian relief efforts. You can donate to Type of Wood Charities here. Donations can also be made to the International Rescue Committee.

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