Frank & Iryna Gunsallus
— Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, my wife and I, flew to Poland and drove to the Ukrainian border to meet our family at a refugee camp. We then drove them to Warsaw to obtain a stable situation and the medical care that Iryna’s mother, Nataliia, needs. Nataliia had orthoscopic surgery on 2/22/22 in Kyiv, Ukraine and two days later the bombing began. The doctors at the facility came to her room and said, “if you can walk, then you should leave!”
Our friends fleeing the city picked her up from the facility and drove to a safe location where Iryna’s father, Igor, was able to meet them. While this was taking place, Iryna’s younger sister, Alla, was actively escaping Kyiv; more specifically Obolon (a neighborhood in northern Kyiv), where severe fighting and bombing occurred during the initial invasion. Our family was able to reunite in their hometown, Bila Tserkva, before they headed to their “dacha,” or country-home, an hour south of Kyiv. For a few days we begged them to get on a train to leave Ukraine and they were reluctant to leave the safety of the remote village. They were adamant that they were going to stay put, but we told them that we were on our way to the airport and that they could meet us at the border, or we will exfiltrate them.
What have we been up to?
Since the end of February, we have found numerous ways to assist Ukrainians; more specifically, refugees in Poland and those remaining in the warzone. This is in addition to our jobs, which our employers (APG Media of Chesapeake & BDK inc.) have been gracious enough to permit us to work remotely while we are here taking care of our family. With the support of our family and friends, Easton Rotary Club and Disaster Aid USA, Iryna and I have been sourcing supplies (medical, food, and other humanitarian aid) to provide to the refugee camps or directly to people we know still in Ukraine. Their needs are constantly evolving, but our ability to stay in communication with people there allows us to know what is needed. Now is the time to act!
You can help!
Many people that I have spoken with in the United States ask, “how can I help?” or “tell me where
to send money.” Well, here is what you can do:
• Contribute to the Rotary Club of Easton’s Youth and Community Fund.
- All funds donated here will be used exclusively for the benefit of Ukrainian children.
- Write a check to “The Youth and Community Fund” with a note in the memo section that should read, “Ukraine Aid – Frank & Iryna Gunsallus.”
- Mail the check to:
The Youth and Community Fund
Attn: Peter M. Dietz, Treasurer
P.O. Box 2132
Easton, Maryland 21601
• Contribute to Disaster Aid USA.
- Visit: www.disasteraidusa.org
- Tap / Click on the red button in the middle that reads, “Ukraine Relief – Donate Now.”
- If you prefer to send a check,
Frank & Iryna Gunsallus