CITRUS HEIGHTS (CBS13) – Aleksandr Romanyuk is looking for anything that will save his friends and family from enemy bullets in Ukraine.
“We were buying plate carriers,” Romanyuk said. “The most common thing they would use is an AK-47.”
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He has just returned to Sacramento from a heartbreaking visit to his home country and is now desperate to get them what they need. But he is not alone.
“There are only a limited number of videos you can watch and therefore [much] cry that you can do that you want to do something tangible,” said Kathilynn Carpenter, executive director of Sunrise Marketplace.
She went above and beyond fundraising. She organized a fundraiser with Deep Roots of Ukraine to collect combat medical supplies and protective equipment in Citrus Heights.
“You know it’s to save the lives of civilians. You know the families and the kids,” Carpenter said.
Some bulletproof vests take tough plates that will protect against an AK-47. But in addition to protection, they are also looking for emergency help, so they will take tourniquets, bandages, Israeli type if you can find them, but they are hard to find.
“We have a lot of Ukrainians coming in, but we also have a lot of civilians donating,” said David Blaze, owner of Action Military Surplus in Sacramento.
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Blaze says they’ve seen so much support for Ukraine that the supplies are selling out. His store offers several different bulletproof vests with heavy duty plates, medical supplies, tactical clothing and boots.
“I’m starting to feel really proud because I see people really helping and it’s not just our people who are fighting for freedom,” Romanyuk said.
Romanyukr is proud, but above all, he knows now that he is not alone.
“It gives more strength, they know they are not alone, that help is on the way. It gives them more courage to fight,” he said.
The Protective Equipment Drive for Ukraine will take place on Saturday, April 16 at the Marketplace at Birdcage located at 6177 Sunrise Blvd. in Citrus Heights. They will collect donations to send to Ukraine from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the parking lot.
You can visit the Sunrise Marketplace website for more information on needed items or to donate money.
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