A North County man is the next of a number of San Diego residents taking the long trip to the Ukrainian border to help refugees.
Jay Ross is the senior director of National Field Reimbursement for a bioscience company. He'll be switching professions when he gets to Ukraine, though: He plans to cook for refugees at the World Central Kitchen.
"I don’t claim to be the best chef, but I can follow instructions and do the best I can," Ross said.
Like many San Diegans, Ross got a sick feeling in his stomach watching the devastation in Ukraine and felt he needed to do something about it.
"I am just gobsmacked and just in awe of what’s happening," he said.
Ross is going to spend two weeks in April cooking in the World Central Kitchen now set up at the busiest border crossing between Ukraine and Poland. He’ll work eight to 10-hour shifts each day.
"It is going to be exhausting, but it is going to be gratifying," he said.
This won't be Ross's first Philanthropic adventure. He and his family members took a trip to Cuba in 2016. Before they left, his daughters learned the average child there gets just one toy to play with — and decided they weren’t about to show up empty-handed.
"They started picking up every doll they had and all the toys. Then we went to the dollar store, we ended up filling suitcases full of toys and. That became the highlight of our trip to Cuba."
Between kitchen shifts, Ross plans to shepherd supplies purchased by generous donors of his company, The Jewish Community Center of Krakow, and those donating to his GoFundMe page.
"I’m going to be going with a volunteer safety vest. In Ukrainian, it says 'American Volunteer' because I want them to know we are all thinking of them,” he said.
Ross said he is out to prove a popular Cesar Chavez quote: "The people who give you their food give you their heart.”