ST. PETERSBURG, Fla — Busy hands and heavy hearts..

That was the reality for many volunteers in St. Petersburg Saturday, as they packed needed supplies for people in Ukraine.

They’re people like Khrystyna Hechlacz

“I have not slept. Work is on a pause,” she said, “I feel stronger here, okay, because here for one goal.”

Organizers with the Course of Action Foundation say the need is great. But they also tell us that hygiene items and emergency medical supplies are at the top of the list.

“People are leaving their homes they don’t have the accommodation of showers or washing their hands, so those two things are what we need right now the most,” said the foundation’s director Arlene Marie.

They’ve partnered with Epiphany of Our Lord Ukrainian Catholic Church to gather and ship those donations. And both groups tell ABC Action News that they’ve been overwhelmed by the number of people who have donated items, money, and their time.

“This just goes to show that people are willing to do the hard work and do what it takes because this isn’t easy,” said Marie.

“It’s touching, it’s amazing, and those people, most of them, didn’t know where Ukraine exists,” said Hechlacz.

A letter, praying for safety, will also come with each bag. And it’s sentiment Hechlacz tells us her loved ones in Ukraine can use right now.


“Some of them are alive but shot. They’re shooting them in the legs,” she said.

The church will be collecting donations every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday between now and March 25th. You can drop off donations on those days, between 10 am and 1 pm.

For more information about this effort, you can visit the Course of Action Foundation website or the church website.

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