A Ukrainian-American and UC San Diego graduate has created a non-profit that's raising funds to send military gear to Ukrainian soldiers.
As of Thursday, Fight with Ukraine has raised roughly $120,000 in just a few weeks.
Nina Shapirshteyn hopes the donations keep coming so she can continue to send protective gear to help Ukrainian soldiers and civilians survive.
“The reality is that Ukrainians are still lacking very basic gear and we’re not providing weapons. We are just providing things that people can wear. So helmets, bulletproof vests, range finders, night vision goggles. Even proper clothing in many situations. We do not just find the funds to buy the gear, but actively source the gear,” said Shapirshteyn.
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Shapirshteyn and her family came to America when she was a teenager in the 90s. She told NBC 7 that after the Soviet Union dissolved, things were unstable in her home country. They decided to leave and start from scratch in the U.S.
She is now a practicing attorney and her parents are psychologists.
She said many of her friends who left Ukraine as she did, have returned to fight. She also said the people of Ukraine are protecting their homes, their freedom, and their democracy.
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She was considering going back to Ukraine but decided against it, as she has a two-year-old daughter.
But the thought of other young children being unsafe and exposed to war and violence pushed her to start fundraising two weeks ago.
“A two-year-old who says hide when he hears the air raid. And it’s really just heart-wrenching to know what the children are going through,” said Shapirshteyn.