Superior Rotary seeks support for Ukraine

Dec. 16—SUPERIOR — The Superior Rotary is joining a global effort to provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine. Through a connection with Rotary Club Ukraine Unity, members are raising funds to provide an ambulance and medical supplies.

It's winter in Ukraine, with temperatures dipping below freezing. That's manageable for Olena Moroz, a member of Rotary Club Ukraine Unity who lives in Lviv. The city 45 miles from the border with Poland has heating and electricity.

Moroz said there is a huge demand for chemical heat packs, gloves, anti-flu medications and vitamins right now. Their club has been delivering thermal clothing to soldiers and civilians living close to the front line who experience blackouts.

"Also, we did a lot for water purification tablets and water filters because those cities that are de-occupied now, there is no fresh water," Moroz said.

A connection with German Rotary clubs recently helped them bring in big trucks with different medications and buy special equipment for hospitals that are close to the front line.

The group's early efforts focused on helping refugees fleeing war-torn regions to enter Poland, and then shifted to obtaining humanitarian aid and transferring it to communities in need. Today, they operate a warehouse, receiving essential supplies and transferring them to communities throughout Ukraine.

Their work has impressed Georgette Wondolkowski, a member of Superior Rotary.

"I follow a number of the folks and the clubs on Facebook, and you can just see these guys are supporting each other in whatever it is. If it's, you know, traveling in a convoy from the UK into Ukraine or fixing a motor because something happened with that vehicle or determining what they need and where, they're gonna get it," she said.

Superior Rotary is seeking community support for their fundraiser,

Twin Ports Unites with Ukraine

. Funds raised through the campaign will be used to help purchase one of three ambulances from the United Kingdom National Health Service and fill it with medical supplies. A San Antonio Rotary Club will be purchasing the other two ambulances. A convoy containing the ambulances is slated to leave for Lviv around mid-January. Once in Lviv, members of Rotary Club Ukraine Unity, including Moroz, will orchestrate delivery to locations in their country impacted by the war. Visit the Superior Rotary website,

, for more information or to donate.

Life in Lviv

In addition to being a Rotary Club member, Moroz is a mother of two who works in investments. As war continues to change the landscape in Ukraine, escape is not something she thinks of.

"My own opinion is if we are escaping from Western Ukraine, so there is no Ukraine," she said. "That's why me and my family members, we decided to stay here to do everything we can do. Yes, it's not easy because (of) this uncertainty."

Early on there were missile attacks in Lviv, as well as blackouts.

"There is only one city (in Western Ukraine) which has never been attacked," Moroz said.

Her daughter is studying architecture in London, but her son attends school in Lviv.

"Now each school has a shelter. So it's all very regular and we are all used to it. So if there is an alarm, so the teacher, the pupils, go into the shelter and it's fine," she said, and what they have weathered pales compared with what is happening in areas like Odessa and Mariupol.

Russia's war against Ukraine, nearing the two-year mark, has solidified the country.

"Putin managed to do what none of our presidents did. He managed to unite all Ukrainians against himself ... Ukraine is so strongly united because no one wants Russians in Ukraine," Moroz said.

It has also brought a global response.

"Unfortunately, we still have a lot to struggle, a lot to fight in the future because it's not the end. Definitely not the end, unfortunately. But I also want everybody to know that Ukrainians don't see any other option except victory and except like free Ukraine and free Ukrainians," Moroz said.

"We really appreciate the help on all different levels we receive," she said, from donations and military help to clothing, medications and volunteers who have joined the Ukrainian army. Even the words of support are appreciated.

"Because family, and I mean family in a bigger sense ... it's everything when you know that you are not alone," Moroz said.