Nonprofit Ukrainian San Antonio collects truckload of medical supplies

The nonprofit Ukrainian San Antonio was so successful in its first collection of baby formula and diapers for the people of Ukraine last week that it couldn’t fit everything collected in its first truck. It will be loading those items and medical supplies donated on Thursday into another truck to continue aiding during the Russian invasion.

The group will be at the Hilton Garden Inn at the Rim in the 5700 block of Rim Pass, accepting donations until 8 p.m., before the truckload of supplies is driven to Chicago for a flight to Poland and then driven into Ukraine by a Ukrainian relief agency.

The Ukrainian San Antonio website has a detailed list of the medical supplies that are most needed as well as how and where they can be purchased.

Olena Garcia, the nonprofit’s chair, said Ukrainian San Antonio plans to return every Thursday for other collection drives. She said the response so far is further proof of America’s support of Ukraine.

“People are on your side, and people see the truth,” Garcia said.

Many of those who were volunteering have family and friends in Ukraine.

“I just couldn’t imagine if I couldn’t do anything to help them,” said Sasha Rebchunovska, a Ukrainian-American. “I feel like this is just my little part in it that I’m contributing.”

Rebchunovska was one of the nursing students at the University of Incarnate Word who volunteered to help.

Their effort was organized by Irene Gilliland, UIW nurse emerita, whose parents were from Ukraine.

Gilliland said her parents survived the Nazi takeover of Ukraine, and her mother would recall the tyranny of another Russian leader, Joseph Stalin, the former dictator of the USSR.

But now, with Vladimir Putin as the Russian president, Gilliland said, “My parents are gone, and I think it’s probably better that way because they would be really mortified.”