PIKESVILLE, Md. — A Baltimore area resident has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Ukraine and now he's decided to move to Poland to further his efforts to help people impacted by the war.
Mark Kreynovich was born in Kharkiv, Ukraine and moved to Pikesville when he was young. He also graduated from Towson High School.
Since the war began, he and his friend Dillon Carroll have sent supplies to the country, as well as secure housing for refugees.
"It breaks your heart," Kreynovich said of the war's impact on the people of Ukraine. "You realize that this is the lowest points of their lives."
The devastation from the war compelled him to start a fundraiser that's raised more than $400,000. His efforts started in Cincinnati, which is the sister city of Kharkiv.
"There are whole regions where access to pharmacies and medicines are nearly impossible, and we are desperately looking to fill this need," Kreynovich said.
Kreynovich and Carroll are now moving to Poland to continue to their mission. He said it's a part of a bigger purpose to help people in his native country.
"I thought that the only way I can sort of realign and find purpose in this is helping to save another one of my homes," Kreynovich said.
The two are also starting another fundraiser in Baltimore, which is the sister city of Odesa in Ukraine. They are partnering with The Baltimore Odesa Sister City Committee.
Karina Mandell, who is the organization's chair, is calling on the people of Baltimore to donate if they can.
She said the help will be able to buy desperately needed supplies.
"I want people to know that Mark and Dillon's mission to Ukraine have directly saved people's lives with donations, " she said. "Every day you can follow them on Instagram and see that your donation in this situation is going to hit the ground running and make a difference in people's lives."
Kreynovich and Carroll left for Poland on Wednesday.
They plan to stay there indefinitely or until they are no longer needed.