A local organization is sending supplies to support Ukrainians

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — A local group is shipping supplies to Ukrainians affected by the current warfare with Russia. 

A Little Wing sign hangs in the window of a storefront
[Jada Respress | WOUB]
Little Wing Relief  is an Athens-based humanitarian organization that sends relief supplies to people in need overseas.

“It’s just a name to signify that we are just a little group that tries to do some good here and there,” said volunteer Tom Medley. 

The group got its start back in 1998, sending four 40-foot containers of supplies after Hurricane Mitch struck Honduras.

As the war continues in Ukraine, the basic necessities that were once easily accessible are not. Founder Holly Dallman wanted to know in what ways Little Wing Relief could contribute.

“I went online and typed in ‘How to ship a load to Ukraine,’ and I started reading all these articles,” Dallman said. “All of sudden one article just kind of jumped out at me and I said I think that’s my guy right there. His name by the way is Dmitry Feld.” 

Feld is a Ukranian living in New York who has been spreading awareness about the happenings there and sending items since the war began. Feld connected Dallman to Vladyslav Heraskevych, who founded a nonprofit in Ukraine for those in need. Heraskevych says that military gear and medicine of any kind are the two major needs and appreciates any help they receive.  

“It’s really nice that we are not alone in this situation, we have help and that we stand strong together,” Heraskevych said. 

So far Little Wing Relief has collected food for families and pets, military shoulder pads and vests, hygiene products such as deodorant and toothbrushes and medicine like bandages and gauze. 

In addition to shipping those items, Dallman wants to take on a $15,725 project to purchase a tent that can be transformed into a field hospital for soldiers. 

“It has electricity, it has lighting, and it has insulation, so that it’s good during the winter, good during the summer and that will be a front-line field hospital,” Dallman said. 

One of the reasons Little Wing Relief can thrive is because of the support from Dallman’s and Medley’s friends who volunteer and donate items toward the initiative. 

Dallman’s good friend, Char Rae, has been responsible for packing up the food and keeping track of what has been collected. As a career volunteer, she said this was a good opportunity for her to help out and make a difference. 

“It’s been an amazing process to observe because they’ve accomplished so much in such a very short time,” Rae said. She is just one of the several volunteers who take time to make sure everything is packaged accurately and sort through what’s donated. 

Medley said a 20-foot container is set to be shipped out next month. There’s still time to donate supplies. There’s an extensive list of what is needed on the Little Wing Relief  website. 

“When you go to the store just buy something extra, buy an extra can of aspirin, buy an extra box of spaghetti, a pack of underwear,” Dallman said. 

There are several collection sites in Athens where items can be dropped off: Dollar General, The Farmacy, Kindred Market, Kroger, Save-A-Lot and Seaman’s Supermarket. Supplies can also be dropped at Little Wing Relief headquarters behind the mall on East State Street.

Editor’s note: The original version of this story contained a number of factual errors. It incorrectly stated Little Wing Relief is sending clothing and furniture as part of their relief shipment. It is only sending medical supplies, food, animal support and personal hygiene products, and military gear. Additionally, the organization sent four 40-foot containers to Honduras in 1998 not 20-foot containers. Finally, the Little Wing Relief is sending just one 20-foot container to Ukraine.  The story has been updated to correct these errors.