BOONE, N.C. (News Release) — Samaritan’s Purse is flying critical relief supplies and food to Ukraine every week, but the flight yesterday had a different mission—carrying 28 Ukrainians to Toronto. The cargo plane first airlifted more than 18 metric tons of emergency relief supplies from Greensboro, N.C. to Poland for trucking into Ukraine. The return flight transported Ukrainian families to Canada, utilizing both legs of the relief mission to aid families in need.
The flight from Poland carried children of all ages, as well as grandmothers and mothers. One of them, a woman named Natalia, is eight months pregnant, and she said it has been an emotional and difficult journey.
“It has been so hard. We were preparing for our new baby and then we had to put our whole life in a suitcase. We did not know where we would go. We just ran away. Then God gave us mercy when we were found by Samaritan’s Purse. We can have hope again.”
Natalie and the other Ukrainians onboard the flight have family members in Canada, and they will be staying with their loved ones while it is too dangerous to go home.
“God bless these people who have been through so much and had to leave everything behind except what they could carry. They are devastated and hurting. We need to continue to pray for the people of Ukraine and do everything we can to help them,” said Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse, who has traveled to Ukraine twice to visit the Samaritan’s Purse team serving on the ground.
Samaritan’s Purse started working in Ukraine and the surrounding countries immediately after the conflict began in February. Since then, the N.C.-based organization has airlifted more than 300 metric tons of relief supplies—including our Emergency Field Hospital—on 13 airlift missions. Samaritan’s Purse has a team of doctors and nurses operating multiple medical facilities across Ukraine, and they have treated more than 8,700 patients so far. Samaritan’s Purse has also delivered more than 1,300 metric tons of food in Ukraine and Moldova and provided thousands of backpacks for children so they have something to put their belongings in as they flee. In all, the organization has helped more than 338,000 people by distributing critical relief items such as blankets, hygiene kits, and solar lights. Samaritan’s Purse is also installing community water filtration systems in areas where water sources have been disrupted or contaminated by the conflict.