BALTIMORE (WMAR) — A Baltimore IT company is collecting donations to ship off to help Ukrainian refugees. It’s a very personal effort for Klik Solutions because they have strong ties to the country.
“I was in Ukraine a month ago and this was the last thing we would expect to actually happen,” said CEO Arthur Olshansky.
The Russian attack on Ukraine is unimaginable for Olshansky, who was born in Ukraine and lived there until he was seven. Now, the company he co-founded has a second office in Kiev with more than 15 employees.
“They are dealing with the lack of being able to get food, water. A lot of them have relocated. Several members of the team have joined the Territorial Defense Forces. Just a lot of confusion, a lot of panic, a lot of nerves,” said Olshansky.
Some of his employees, or their families, also fled the country, joining the more than one million refugees.
“I just can’t sit and watch anymore,” said Olshansky. “This is a tragedy that’s unfolding in front of our eyes.”
He knew he wanted to help, so they have decided to hold a donation drive to collect anything that can be of use.
“Those people are in desperate need. They literally dropped everything they had at home. They couldn’t really take their belongings and they ran out to save their lives. Most of these are women and young children,” said Olshansky.
Everything will be sent to Poland on Tuesday to be distributed.
Olshansky is already shocked by the amount of support, when they only announced the collection yesterday.
“Just honestly emotional. First I’m proud to be born in Ukraine and be Ukrainian but I’m super proud to be an American, especially here in Baltimore where the community has gotten behind everything,” said Olshansky.
He said, after speaking with Ukrainians, they have a similar message.
“One of the messages they want to tell people is Ukrainians really love the United States. They feel very thankful, a lot of gratitude for everything the us is doing for them, from weapons to financial or material support,” said Olshansky.
Donations can be dropped off Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at their office at 1000 Key Highway East in Locust Point next to Domino Sugar.
They are looking for:
Non Perishable Foods
Cardboard boxes (Need for SHIPPING)
Shoes & clothing (men, women, and children, gently used OK)
Hygiene products (women's products, diapers, etc)
Blankets & bedding
First aid & first aid kits
Disposable cups, napkins, plates, utensils
Tents, mattresses, sleeping bags
Containers for liquids (canisters for water, fuel, lubricants w. a capacity of 10-20 Liters)
*Monetary donations can and will be accepted to help offset the cost of shipping