How Austin medical supplies end up in Ukraine
Tonya Levchuk's mother is a master packer — which comes in handy when you're trying to win a war.
The big picture: The Liberty Ukraine Foundation, based out of Levchuk's East Austin home, sends medical supplies, combat boots, military garb and other material to Ukraine to supply troops in the grinding war.
- The medical kits typically include tourniquets, chest decompression equipment and suction devices.
How it works: "The fastest way to deliver supplies is through people flying to Poland," Levchuk, who moved to Austin in 2012 to work in the tech sector, tells Axios.
- Postal services are expensive and can take weeks.
- Because of global supply chain issues and a run on medical kits given the war, Europe itself is out of stock of many supplies.
So the foundation sends suitcases chock full of tactical medical supplies from Austin to the front lines.
The nonprofit raises money to buy the materials and accepts in-kind donations.
- In the living room of her home, Levchuk and members of her family who fled from eastern Ukraine to join her in Austin pack the goods.
- The suitcases are sent with travelers bound for Poland — and then are whisked to the border, where they are met by another team of volunteers, who take them to the eastern front.
By the numbers: Over the last six weeks, 25 suitcases have been dispatched from Austin to Poland, with $40,000 worth of supplies.
The bottom line: Her foundation has had to step in, says Levchuk, because "international organizations who should prevent these things from happening have failed."
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