MEDFORD, NJ – The Medford Sunrise Rotary is $5,000 away from securing a second ambulance for the war-ravaged country. Kevin Frenia, Rotarian and Principal of HFA, set to take the trip October 4th.
As the war in Ukraine continues on, the medical infrastructure in the country has been severely damaged due to attacks on hospitals, ambulances and other health care facilities. With medical supplies in desperate demand, one local Rotary Club has stepped in to help.
This past July, the Medford Sunrise Rotary in Medford, NJ started a campaign to raise $25,000 to purchase an ambulance, fill it with medical supplies and drive it from Germany to the Ukraine border.
The local Rotarians teamed up with Ihor Savchykevych, Executive Director of Rotary Club Lviv (District 2232) in Ukraine and Volker Hoffman, President of Oldenburg Rotary in Germany to drive the vehicle and distribute supplies to the war-ravaged country.
“We have been working with Rotarians across the United States and Europe, as well as the World Health Organization to make this gift happen,” said David Forward, Past President and Past District Governor of the Medford Sunrise Rotary.
In August, the Medford Sunrise Rotary secured enough funds to purchase its first ambulance in Germany and drive it to Ukraine, which is a three-day journey of 1,000 miles.
Forward, along with Tom Monaghan, current President of the Medford Sunrise Rotary, left Newark International Airport on August 25 with a suitcase loaded with donated medical supplies. They landed in Frankfurt Airport in Germany where they were greeted by local Rotarians.
“The Oldenburg Rotary Club was a wonderful partner in this project; they paid for and filled the ambulance with thousands of dollars of medical supplies identified by Ukrainian hospitals as being urgently needed,” said Forward. “They also had the ambulance checked out mechanically and packed lunches for our long road trip.”
From there, Forward and Monaghan drove the ambulance across Poland to the Ukraine border.
“Within hours, the ambulance was saving lives, rushing injured people to hospitals in Kharkiv–one of Ukraine’s most bombed cities,” Forward added.
Now, the Medford Sunrise Rotary is in the process of securing its second ambulance in October.
“We still need $5,000 to purchase the vehicle and fill it with medical supplies,” said Kevin Frenia, former President of the Medford Sunrise Rotary and the current Principal at HFA, a local accounting firm that is supporting the Medford Sunrise Rotary Club’s efforts by donating much needed water purification tablets for the citizens of Ukraine.
This time, Frenia will make the trip to Ukraine with Forward. They are scheduled to leave Newark International Airport on October 4th and land in Germany on October 5th.
“We are grateful for all the support we can get to help make a difference in Ukraine,” said Frenia.
The Medford Sunrise Rotary Club has received donations from all over the country and all travel expenses are paid by the Rotarians from their personal savings. Every dollar donated goes to the campaign.
The Medford Sunrise Rotary collectively notes, “We hope every donor to this grassroots campaign feels justifiable pride in making the dream come alive. Thank you on behalf of Rotary volunteers across three countries and four districts for your support.”
To donate to the Ukraine Ambulance initiative, visit MedfordSunriseRotary.org.