Two weeks ago, Andrey Gorokhov was in Spain on a work trip. It was there that he received news that would abruptly change his life.
The war had started in his home country and he knew that for the sake of his family and employees he needed to move fast.
“We provided them liquidity for two months in advance," said Gorokhov.
Gorokhov is the CEO of a Ukrainian investment firm with 5,000 employees. He has spent the last two weeks helping those who wanted to get out and those who want to stay.
“Me and my team, being Ukrainians, we couldn't stay aside,” said Gorokhov.
And now he’s working to help those who want to join the fight.
“When I see the spirit of Ukrainians these days, I understand that the war will be fierce,” said Gorokhov. “Casualties, unfortunately, will be high. In order to decrease them, military gear would really help."
But enough military gear to help keep civilians safe is hard to come by in Ukraine. So when San Diegan Dermot O’Shea reached out offering help, Gorokhov knew exactly what to ask for.
“Initially it was helmets, vest, gloves, knee pads, elbow pads, sleeping bags, thermals, and things like that, then as the weeks progressed they're really focused on us trying to get them to help with helmets and bulletproof vests,” said O'Shea.
O'Shea knows Gorokhov through business. To help gather the items needed, O'Shea set up a nonprofit called Unity for Ukraine. On the nonprofit’s website, O’Shea has information on how the public can help.
“We can't count how many lives it will save but as of today have tracksuits and sneakers on, it's what they told us,” said O'Shea.
He's covering all shipping costs and assures all donated money will go towards purchasing protective equipment for Ukrainians fighting for their country.
O’Shea is also accepting used and new protective equipment donations. You can find his contact info on the website.