As the war continues to force families out of their homes in Ukraine, families in San Diego continue to help.
Nadia and Askold Haywas boarded a plane last week, bringing several bags of donated medical supplies along with them. They landed in Warsaw, Poland and then traveled to Lviv, Ukraine.
On Sunday, Nadia Haywas spoke with NBC 7 about their experience.
“It’s easier to take it ourselves because we are here in 10 hours,” said Haywas.
Get San Diego local news, weather forecasts, sports and lifestyle stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC San Diego newsletters.
Haywas explained it’s faster and more efficient than shipping the items. Once on the ground, they’re able to hand off the supplies directly to organizations they know will send items to the front lines or wherever they’re needed most.
“Tourniquets are lifesaving…we need tourniquets that will not break,” she said.
Lviv has endured a few brutal attacks in recent weeks, although Haywas says it’s safer than eastern Ukraine where most of the devastation and fighting is happening. They’re still taking precautions when leaving their accommodations.
“We try not to go anywhere where there is a large crowd,” she said.
This weekend, they went to a train station where refugees from the east are arriving in large numbers.
“Everyone is traumatized whether they actually lived through a bombing and had to leave their home or whether they’re here and accepting the refugees,” she said.
They’re currently staying with her husband’s family who lives in Lviv – grateful to be united with them safely.
“Both of us could not stay home and not see them…not knowing when this war is going to end and if we were ever going to be able to see them again.”
Hayward says the need for humanitarian and medical aid is overwhelming. She’s proud of the outpouring of support from San Diegans.
“We could not have brought any of this aid if it weren’t for the generosity of the people of San Diego.”
She added that one of the best ways people can continue to help is by financially donating to the House of Ukraine, as it enables them to buy the exact supplies they need in bulk to be sent abroad. You can donate by visiting their website here.