United In The Face Of Adversity
Article by Ozzy Samad
The crisis in Ukraine perhaps exemplifies both the worst in humanity and our best in coming together to face such adversity. As the humanitarian situation continued to worsen and images of terrorized communities, displaced families, and mounting loss of life flashed across our screens, BBF became increasingly aware of the dire need for providing additional medical and humanitarian assistance to so many suffering in such desperate circumstances – and perhaps most importantly, how we as a community could support these relief efforts.
BBF’s response began with supporting mobile medical clinics and medical teams providing emergency services in the affected areas. We then airlifted over 72 pallets of critically needed life sustaining medications, medical supplies, and equipment to Ukraine via Warsaw, Poland. As missiles struck an aircraft maintenance facility in the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, BBF’s relief shipment was forcibly rerouted but still successfully delivered to the Ukrainian Ministry of Health (MOH). The four truckloads of Highmark/AHN medicines and medical supplies, complemented by Giant Eagle’s medical donation, have been deployed by the MOH in areas ravaged by war. This was followed by Giant Eagle’s donation of 25 pallets of relief supplies which was successfully delivered to Warsaw and is being distributed to refugees at reception centers on the Ukrainian border, with a portion sent to those in need in Ukraine itself.
This shipment will be followed by Highmark/AHN’s second donation of medicines and wound care supplies, along with a mobile X-ray machine, combined with Grane Rx’s pharmaceutical donation. BBF is also sending 20 pallets of medical aid from SOS in Louisville, Kentucky, and has already shipped 16 pallets of humanitarian supplies and first aid kits collected by DT Care of Moon Township, in Pittsburgh. These are some of our efforts with a number of additional shipments scheduled.
The relief shipments go hand-in-hand with fundraising efforts from individuals, community organizations, and corporations. These include Excela Health’s foundations and employees, who have made financial contributions and dedicated a day to celebrate traditional Ukrainian food, similar efforts from the Butler Health System and its staff, volunteering and donations by UPMC employees, a grass roots fundraising effort by the Lyndora Hotel in Butler, generous financial support from Matthews International, the William Penn Association, and the Tartan Devils Soccer Club, a donation and fundraising bike ride organized by Pittsburgh Hires Veterans, a Stand with Ukraine Concert to fundraise for BBF’s relief efforts, and over 4,000 individual donations from members of our community.
BBF will continue the Ukraine relief efforts in three ways:
- Flying additional shipments of medicines and medical supplies to the Ukrainian MOH for use in the affected areas.
- Air shipments of humanitarian supplies for refugees at reception centers in Poland and Romania, and for internally displaced persons in Ukraine, along with in-country purchases of relief supplies and medications.
- Continued support of local partners in Ukraine, Poland and Romania, who are operating medical facilities and providing humanitarian aid.
Brother’s Brother Foundation and the Pittsburgh Technology Council launched a campaign to raise $250,000 to aid Ukrainian humanitarian relief efforts – thanks to your generosity, this fund is now over $1.6 million. 100% of donations received for BBF’s response are and will be used to support emergency relief and logistics.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.