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Everyone has a story. We want to share yours.

Stories

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Jonathan Rogers

Ukrainian Relief Fund

Published on: 

January 1, 2023

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Thanks for taking the time to sit with us to share your story with our readers. Can you start out by sharing a little bit about you and/or your organization, business, or project?

I’m Johnny Rogers with Ukrainian Relief Fund, we’re an organization that delivers humanitarian aid to people in need in Ukraine. At first I came over to Ukraine to do whatever I can to help. We ended up helping anyone and everyone we could. I rode along with a few different organizations and helped with distributing supplies and acted as a support medic. Then I realized there is no organization or communication between the various humanitarian groups, the supply collection points, or the people sending the supplies. I then went to locate all of the warehouses I could and contact as many humanitarian groups as possible and also locating and contacting the people collecting the supplies in America in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Ohio. Now I’m trying to get video content to post and share while I’m delivering supplies to the east.

Everyone has a story about how they got started, what was the inspiration or the catalyst for you?

I visited Kyiv in 2018 when I was on leave from Afghanistan and a few times after. My best friend lived in Kyiv and I loved Ukraine before the full scale invasion. FEB 24th I knew exactly what I had to do but I didn’t know how to do it. Each step has been learning how to take the next step.

Tell us about a time that you faced a challenging situation in your life, organization, business, or project. How did you find a solution, or over-come the challenge?

I mean every single day in Ukraine is a challenging situation. Money, supplies, people, Language, motivation, indirect fire, logistics, video editing, social media, power outage, water access issues.

SHOP UKRAINIAN, BY UKRAINIANS, FOR UKRAINIANS

Running a business, an organization, a project is not always easy. What have your learned about yourself, about others along the way?

I have learned that I am capable of more than I thought I was and I learned that other can mean well but it really takes people who can actually accomplish a goal than people who want to feel good about being a part of something to get these things accomplished.

We've all had that one moment that makes what we are doing worth it all. Can you share with us a story about the moment that really impacted you and touched your heart?

One time there was a little girl that was in a town we were delivering supplies to. Her mother took her to a neighbors house at night, and during this visit their home was completely destroyed. The girl didn’t really have a concept of what was happening and her mother and her only had the clothes on their backs. The mother only had a robe and slippers. But they had each other. We had a box of children’s items like pencils and coloring books. I gave her a couple pencils in some coloring books in. There was some more toys, and she motion to us asking if she could have one and everybody kind of looked at each other and was thinking like of course you can have as much as you want and nobody was able to tell her how much she could have or when to stop. We looked at each other thinking who’s gonna be the one to tell her that’s enough. The look on her face that small moment of joy that was in it self worth everything. A few people can bring a very small item a very long ways, and it can make somebody’s entire day. In this moment there is hope. Hope. There is always hope.

If you could go back in time and give your self some advice on how to manage your business, nonprofit, or project, what advice would you give?

Buy a car first.

If a potential client, donor, partner were reading this article right now, what would tell them about you, your team to convince them to choose you?

If a potential client or donor or reading this, I would want them to choose me because I know I’ll be able to make sure they’re dollar goes further than most other people here. I won’t go to the nail salon and get my nails done ordered or get a expensive haircut. Also, I want to just make sure that other organizations who are also doing really really good are getting the attention that they deserve there. A lot of people doing a lot of good and there’s some people that are just absorbing resources. If I don’t get a donor or financial support I want to make sure that the donors are making Wise informed decisions.

What is one fact about you, your business, your nonprofit, your project that most people might not know?

One fact about my nonprofit is that I’ve given four times the amount of my own money than donations I’ve raised.

Where do you see your business, nonprofit, project going in the next 3 or 5 years?

I am going to continue my humanitarian efforts but funding has been the number one limiting factor. People could have avoided death if we were able to get them medical supplies and food in time. We don’t have enough money to do as much as we would like. I’ve been trying to find out how to submit for grants or find out how to get properly funded but it’s extremely difficult to do all of these coordination logistical tasks in an active war zone and then spend your moments in wifi or cell signal range to Google “HOw dO I geT GovErnMEnt fUnDIng?”

I really wanted to create a business that fabricates vehicles here in Ukraine. The number one thing that every single organization here in Ukraine needs or more vehicles. Humanitarian medical military. They all need vehicles. I have a design and a business plan to be able to produce cost effective vehicles here in Ukraine. If this is as successful as it could be I could use my pay to get more supplies for more desperate people.

It was so great sitting with you to learn more about you. How can people find out more about you, your business, nonprofit, or project?

It’s been my pleasure thank you for having me. You can find me at helpisonthewayua.com and I’m going to try to update this more frequently but it’s been a challenge to do everything and also learn how to do web design also haha

Thank you so much for sharing your story with HiHelloUkraine Story!

Thank you for anything anyone can do for Ukraine. Please remember that it’s greatly appreciated if you have donated a physical item but it’s a massive logistical challenge to make sure your item ends up in a persons hands who needs it. Getting your item into a warehouse in Western. Ukraine is extremely difficult and costly. Then it’ll sit there for months and months and months until somebody is able to sort it. Then the people who are sorting it need to contact somebody who’s trusted enough to be able to access this warehouse and the supplies Then the person in the east who has an extreme need for these items Hass to be connected with that warehouse in the west and then you have to drive it hundreds of miles across extremely dangerous roads to be able to deliver these items into active shelling. The vehicles cost money to maintain the gas costs money. The people who are handling the goods need food. Also they need lodging it is extremely expensive. Please support your volunteers.

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Author

Jonathan Rogers

Ukrainian Relief Fund

Published on: 

January 1, 2023

Follow on social media:

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Maria Drobatschevska
Maria Drobatschevska
07 de jan. de 2023

Jonathan, I live in Germany, do you have Any Partner organizations that you work with in or near Berlin?

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