San Diegans Begin to ‘Help Ukraine Now'

San Diego residents' grassroots effort looking to send supplies to Ukraine

NBC Universal, Inc.

They’re tired of sitting on their hands. They don’t want to wait and see.

Instead, hundreds of San Diego-area residents with Ukrainian ties are directly helping their home country.

“Felt I needed to do something,” Viktoriia Simakova said. “I just couldn’t stand not doing anything.”

Simakova arrived in San Diego seven months ago to work on her master’s degree. She was supposed to return to Ukraine four months from now.

“This week has been terrible,” Simakova said, choking back tears. “It’s hard — very hard — and my parents and my husband are there. It’s very hard.”

Simakova said her family is together, about an hour outside of Kyiv.

“It’s quite dangerous there," Simakova said. "They are OK right now, but I’m very worried. I check in with them every half-hour just to know they are OK.”

That’s why Simakova and others spearheaded Help Ukraine Now, an effort to collect donations and ship them to the people in Ukraine who need them the most.

“Right now, we have a lot of baby food," Simakova said. "We have diapers. We have stuff like that. So, what we really need right now is medical supplies.”

Simakova said donations can be made through Help Ukraine Now's website.

“This is something that really helps me to get away from all the horrors,” Simakova said. “I feel like, here, I’m helping more, and my hope is that I can go back to my country.”

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