Friends of Be an Angel, a Milwaukee-based charity, spent several weeks in Ukraine between June and July. One of the organization’s objectives was to bring humanitarian aid from Wisconsin to people who were forced to flee their homes because of Russia’s full-scale invasion.
One part of the initiative aimed to provide essential support to displaced individuals and families who lost their clothing during evacuations, and extend assistance to vulnerable children affected by trauma from the ongoing war.
Earlier in June, Friends of Be an Angel arranged a “sort and pack” of vital supplies, in cooperation with Dr. Douglas Davis and the Ukrainian Medical Association of North America (UMANA). Those medical items were loaded from Milwaukee into cargo containers for shipping to the organization’s secure warehouse in Lviv.
For the trip to Ukraine, members of the charitable nonprofit brought 10 cargo bags of highly valuable and urgently need items. Because all airspace over Ukraine is closed to commercial traffic, travelers must fly to Poland and cross the border into Ukraine by vehicle. As Friends of Be an Angel made that journey from Krakow, the delegation picked up additional supplies donated by Polish aid organizations.
The humanitarian aid consisted predominantly of medical supplies for hospitals, but also included a wide range of items for displaced people like clothing, hygiene kits, toys, and educational materials for children.
Food security has also been a problem for a war-weary population under occupation by an enemy invader. Faith communities are among the organizations inside Ukraine donating their time and materials to make sure people who are hungry get fed.
A congregation in the rural city of Volodymyr is one example of how members of the faith community are working to provide nourishment to those facing hunger.
Volodymyr’s faith community is focused on supporting both refugees and their courageous soldiers stationed on the frontlines. By preparing and delivering meals, the congregation hopes to alleviate some of the burdens faced by those individuals, in addition to sending them a message of hope.
Series: Return to Ukraine
- Return to Ukraine: A trauma loop of travel from Milwaukee to a country still at war a year later
- From Weddings to War: How Kostiantyn and Vlada Liberov photograph Ukraine's daily horrors
- Being Friends of Angels: The Milwaukee nonprofit saving lives and offering hope in Ukraine
- Mayors of Milwaukee and Irpin expand Sister City cooperation after visit by nonprofit delegation
- Interview with Tom Barrett: U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg reflects on forging ties with Irpin
- Wisconsin Ukrainians host annual fundraising picnic to support homeland on 500th day of war
- Advanced Wireless to donate 840 access points to rebuild Irpin's citywide Wi-Fi network
- Children of Irpin begin planning mural for Mitchell Airport to showcase Sister City friendship
- Irpin is not forgotten: Residents thank Milwaukee Independent for reporting on their "Hero City"
- Milwaukee photojournalist on assignment in Kyiv during July 2 Russian drone strike targeting civilians
- Russian cruise missile attack kills residents far from front lines in Western Ukraine city of Lviv
- Ukraine arrests man accused of directing Russian ballistic missile strike on Kramatorsk pizza parlor
- Milwaukee offers Ukrainian refugee family life-saving treatment for son's genetic condition
- Nikita Pirnach: Irpin student hopes to help his country after finishing education in Milwaukee
- Sick children wait for overseas medical treatments as a new generation is born in Ukraine during war
- Iryna Suslova: The superwoman saving Ukrainian children abducted by Russia
- How a group of Ukrainian mothers, wives, and daughters are distributing vital humanitarian aid
- Freeing Freddie: Educational program aims to reduce PTSD for Ukraine's war-weary children
- The trauma of living: When being killed is the preferred choice to being disfigured from battle
- President Zelenskyy offers gratitude and awards to wounded soldiers while visiting Lviv Hospital
- Former Vice President Mike Pence visits Irpin during unannounced campaign trip to Kyiv
- Military Hospitals provide vital care for Ukrainian soldiers in need of hope and healing
- Combat surgeons pioneer advances in maxillofacial reconstruction of Ukraine's injured heroes
- Milwaukee donors cover cost of reconstructive surgery for American volunteer wounded in battle
- In their own words: Listening to the Voices of Children talk about their experiences from war
- Traumatized by War: Children of Ukraine carry on after losing parents, homes, and innocence
- Widespread Torture: U.N. report documents Russia's systematic executions of Ukrainian civilians
- Wisconsin volunteers sort and pack donated medical supplies for use in Ukraine's hospitals
- Lviv warehouse serves as vital link in medical supply chain from Milwaukee to frontlines
- Aid from Milwaukee is providing internally displaced people in Ukraine with food and clothing
- Iryna Pletnyova: How the city of Uman transformed into a hub for refugees fleeing war
- Bombs in the night: Why children in Uman are still traumatized by Russia's missile attack
- School Bunkers: When a national flag becomes a memorial to dead Ukrainian students
- Hasidic life in Uman: A journey across Ukraine to the Tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov
- Tetiana Storozhko: Being a witness to the history of Roma culture in Ukraine
- Remembering Oskar Schindler: A photojournalist’s diary from the streets of Jewish Kraków
Milwaukee Independent has reported on Russia’s brutal full-scale invasion of Ukraine since it began on February 24, 2022. In May of 2022, Milwaukee Independent was the first news organization from Wisconsin to report from Milwaukee’s Sister City of Irpin after its liberation. That work has since been recognized with several awards for journalistic excellence. Between late June and early July of 2023, Milwaukee Independent staff returned to Ukraine for a second assignment to report on war after almost a year. The editorial team was embedded with a Milwaukee-based nonprofit, Friends of Be an Angel, on a humanitarian aid mission across Ukraine. For several weeks, Milwaukee Independent documented the delivery of medical supplies to military and civilian hospitals, and was a witness to historic events of the war as they unfolded.