Man with ties to SoCal travels alone to Ukraine to help with crisis
LAGUNA BEACH, Calif - A man with ties to Southern California felt compelled to help the Ukrainian people during the crisis, and booked a flight to travel alone to Ukraine to help in any way he could.
Preston Carter previously lived in Laguna Beach, and now works as a Director for WayFinder Logistics in Chicago. He said the company was supportive when he told them about his plans to go to Ukraine.
"When I saw what was happening, I couldn't believe that it was happening to so many innocent people. The only thing I thought to do which was crazy is to go there," said Carter.
Carter has been in Ukraine for over one week now. He flew into Kraskow and then went to the border. He said he met people there from other countries who also decided to fly there to help.
"We aren't part of any organization or NGO. These are just ordinary individuals who traveled out of pocket and met up. It was rough at first getting everything organized but it all came together and I think we've had an impact," he said.
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He said the group has gone to the border and to help at refugee centers.
"We were immediately able to find refugees who needed transportation to other parts of Poland. We've been helping with translations and the Polish military and the civilians, who are fantastic by the way, and helping them with organizing and distributing supplies and doing a lot of supply runs. We're just trying to do what we can," he said.
Carter said he did not hesitate to come.
"I didn't feel scared, or maybe I did but what I felt more so was my desire to help out," said Carter.
Carter said the trip has been well worth it by helping Ukrainian people.
"Obviously there's a lot of sadness there, but there's also a lot of hope. Seeing people go there to see if they can help has been great, and despite the tragedy, the Ukrainians have been so resilient and that's just really inspiring," he said.
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Carter does not have a date to return to the U.S. and is hoping to stay as long as possible to help. He has created a Go Fund Me page with proceeds going to Ukrainian refugees.
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