Little Wing Relief prepares to ship relief supplies to Ukraine

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) –  After months of collecting donations, an Athens-based humanitarian organization will be sending out its first shipment of aid to the people impacted by the war in Ukraine on Tuesday.

boxes stretch across the entire Little Wing Warehouse
Little Wing Relief’s warehouse stored boxes filled with donations awaiting shipment to Ukraine. [Lexi Lepof | WOUB]
Holly Dallman, the founder of Little Wing Relief, said she was “horrified” by the effects of the war, but was confident she could help, given her experience with sending relief supplies to countries like Honduras.

Dallman and her husband Tom Medley found a partner in Dmitry Feld, a Ukrainian living in Lake Placid, New York and began reaching out to the Athens community and in response, received an influx of support from the people.

“People have been happy to jump in and help. We’ve been amazed at the outpouring. We have had tremendous support,” Dallman said. 

A countless number of individuals dropped off various donations ranging from hygiene products, pet food and military gear, to sleeping bags and shoes, amongst other essential items. 

Little Wing volunteers assess every item to determine if it should be included in the shipment. For those items that don’t make it, the organization plans on holding a yard sale later this month, with proceeds going to future relief efforts.

Dallman says boots are one the most needed items. [Lexi Lepof | WOUB]
Community members have also donated their time by assisting at the warehouse. Debi Daniels, a volunteer who is of Ukrainian heritage, wanted to help and is overwhelmed by the community’s efforts to do the same. 

“[The community is] just jumping and ready to help and bringing car-loads of things and going to the store and buying extra stuff and bringing it over. It has just been phenomenal,” Daniels said. 

Additionally, local businesses have played an integral part in the effort to help Ukraine. Brent Hayes, the owner of The Market on State, lets Little Wing Relief use space in the mall for storage and packing for free. He plans on letting the organization continue to do so for future relief projects..

Other Athens businesses including Tractor Supply, Holzer and Whites Mill, are also helping.

Tractor Supply is moving the boxes filled with supplies from Little Wing’s space for free, Holzer donated medical supplies and Whites Mill donated dog and cat food. 

Seaman’s Cardinal Super Market, Kroger, Dollar General, Save A Lot and The Farmacy also allowed for donation boxes to be placed in their stores.

The relief supplies will be loaded onto a truck on Tuesday that will travel to Columbus prior to being shipped to New York. There the supplies will be loaded on a ship headed to Poland.

Whenever we get a load delivered and we hear back from the people – they send pictures of them wearing stuff and they send ‘thank yous’ –  that’s what it’s all about,” Medley said. 

Dallman, Medley and Little Wing Relief’s volunteers are already planning another shipment to Ukraine as well as potentially to South Sudan and Kentucky. 

The previous version of this article incorrectly listed Nicaragua as a country Little Wing Relief relief supplies to. It also incorrectly stated the supplies headed to Ukraine were going from Columbus to Lake Placid, New York. The article as been updated to correct these errors.