CINCINNATI — Organizers with the Cincinnati-Kharkiv Sister City Partnership (CKSCP) announced a new campaign and partnership with two young men that are working to get urgently needed supplies to the people of Kharkiv.
“My heart is in Kharkiv. The hospital, the people and the city are vivid in my mind as Russia is poised to launch a brutal attack on Kharkiv," Bob Herring, Chairman of the CKSCP said. "They desperately need our help. We are the only city in all North America that is Kharkiv’s sister city. Kharkiv is counting on Cincinnatians."
According to a news release, John Pepper, former Procter & Gamble Chairman, and his wife Francie donated $50,000 in one-to-one matching funds to kick start a campaign called "Mission to Ukraine."
“It’s important to realize that every medical person protected saves more lives. Every emergency medical supply will save lives, every critical medicine provided saves lives. It’s time to give in a big way," Francine said.
"Mission to Ukraine" has roots in the Tri-State and overseas. Dillon Carroll is the son of a former Procter & Gamble marketer, Kathleen Dillon Carroll. Mark Kreynovich was born in Kharkiv. Both are best friends.
“It’s very serious, seriously. I think both of us, in our heart of hearts, know we can do great things here and we know how to get them done. We just need your support," Mark Kreynovich said. "I think it’s incredible there have been so many people who have been so generous and are keen on helping."
Mark's family is taking shelter in the countryside outside of Kharkiv. He can't recall a single day since the war started without Russian airstrikes.
"A week and a half ago, I was face-timing my grandfather and I saw this black plume of smoke in the background just behind him."
Dillon and Mark said they were honored after learning of the partnership and the matching donations by the Peppers.
The friends arrived less than 10 days after Russia invaded Ukraine. Their initial goal was to raise $5,000. According to CKSCP, within two days of their arrival, the friends started immediately getting critically needed supplies into Ukraine from the Polish border.
In a month, the pair raised $120,000 and were sending in tourniquets, insulin, medicine and other emergency medical equipment.
Organizers said the immediate goal is to raise $250,000 by Monday, April 18.
Dillon and Mark are not affiliated with the already existing Mission to Ukraine. Their website will go live this week, but in the meantime, you can help by donating here.