September 26, 2022
Folks fleeing from Ukraine queue to board on a bus on the border crossing in

Folks fleeing from Ukraine queue to board on a bus on the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, on March 4.Markus Schreiber/The Related Press

The organizer: Arthur Koval

The pitch: Serving to refugees alongside the Polish-Ukrainian border

Arthur Koval moved from Toronto to Lviv in western Ukraine seven months in the past with a dream of beginning a building enterprise. He’d been born in Lviv and hung out in Poland earlier than immigrating to Canada in 2001.

He and his girlfriend have been nearly to purchase a bit of property when the warfare with Russia broke out. His relations in Canada advised him to go away Ukraine however Mr. Koval, 37, had a change of coronary heart when he obtained to the Polish border and noticed tens of hundreds of Ukrainians ready in freezing temperatures to get throughout. As a substitute of becoming a member of the exodus, Mr. Koval crammed his automotive with blankets and meals and began handing every part out to these in line. He stored returning, again and again.

Mr. Koval and his girlfriend ultimately relocated throughout the border in Rzeszow, Poland, the place Mr. Koval operates a taxi service with 9 cabs and an auto restore store. He wasn’t completed serving to refugees.

He turned the restore store right into a makeshift warehouse for donated meals, clothes and different provides; and purchased a minivan for US$8,000. With the assistance of some pals, he began making common journeys to Ukraine to distribute assist to refugee shelters, troopers and communities in want. Mr. Koval and his pals are actually shifting donated items despatched from everywhere in the world to locations throughout Ukraine by a community of contacts.

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He funded almost every part himself at first, however he’s just lately acquired some assist from family and friends. “As a lot as I can I’m attempting,” he mentioned throughout a uncommon break in Rzeszow. “If there may be one child who’s fed, it’s worthwhile.”

He nonetheless thinks about that lengthy line on the border in late February – which stretched as much as 30 kilometres – and the kids he noticed shivering, ready to get to security. “I’d go to the border and provides out chocolate, bread, meals and blankets,” he recalled. “If you’re giving chocolate to a child, there’s a smile. It’s onerous to precise the sentiments whenever you see that.”

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