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Keith's Saga - First Contact

Keith is not Ukrainian, he doesn't speak the language, he has no personal connection to the region. He simply felt compelled to help. This is his story in his own words.

I first found out about the work Keith is doing in Ukraine from Fat Papa’s parents. Keith is a gold buddy with my father-in-law Rick who shared his story with us. Though Keith is not Ukrainian, does not speak the language, and has no connection to the crisis in Ukraine he felt compelled to provide aid due to the overwhelming need by the people fleeing their homes. So, Keith left his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, hoped on a plane and started emailing friends back home once he landed.

My father-in-law was one of the first people Keith contacted and for a while was the only person who knew Keith was in Ukraine. This was the first update that was shared more broadly with all of us back home. The stories only became more gut-wrenching as time went on.

“Rick has a Santa Fe friend that flew to Poland to help with the refugees from Ukraine. Last night Rick got this message from him.

I just got back to my hotel. We (you and I) bought a dozen meals today at the border for refugees. We also took 3 refugees to Warsaw and provided shelter for the next few days. Illya, Oksana, and the grandmother.

I helped him with some money, but he is basically funding this effort himself. However, if you are interested, this is a charity that is funding others to do the same sort of thing. The amount of money they have raised is a drop in the bucket compared to the need. When I gave them money yesterday, they were at $160K. Right now, they are at $588K.”

After reading this first email, I felt compelled to learn more, follow Keith’s story, and find ways that I too could help the people of Ukraine. Keep reading to learn more about Keith’s Saga and other aid workers I have met as I setup direct aid programs from the United States to the frontlines of the Ukrainian humanitarian crisis.

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