Paul Gavrilyuk, a theology professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota is sending thousands of tourniquets to Ukraine on a weekly basis. Gavrilyuk’s efforts initially began in 2015 after Russia invaded Ukraine to annex Crimea, and he is now hoping to expand his reach. According to Catholic News Service, Gavrilyuk founded ‘Rebuild Ukraine’ to raise money for essential life-saving supplies including tourniquets and prescription medications that get delivered to hospitals throughout Ukraine. In the aftermath of Russia’s recent invasion, Gavrilyuk has also widened the scope of his help by sending bulletproof vests and beef jerky to support Ukrainians.
Catholic News Service reports that so far, Gavrilyuk has sent 2,500 tourniquets to Ukraine and is hoping to send 10,000 more next month. He shared that with 1,000 Ukrainians wounded each day, sending 7,000 tourniquets each week would make an incredible difference saving lives. Though Gavrilyuk remains in Minnesota committed to advancing his organization’s work all day and all night, Rebuild Ukraine has 100 volunteers working in two major cities in Ukraine, one being Kyiv, to distribute the supplies to hospitals in their surrounding area and to the front lines.
Expanding his supply list, Gavrilyuk “is working on manufacturing bulletproof vests to have shipped overseas and delivered to Ukraine’s civilian defenders.” To speed up the process, he reached out to police departments to inquire about donating “decommissioned” bulletproof vests that are no longer in use due to age. The police departments enthusiastically agreed to Gavrilyuk’s request, and he has specifically thanked police chiefs in Wisconsin and Texas.
Gavrilyuk’s efforts do not stop at medical and self-defense supplies; he has even found a way to help nourish Ukrainians by sending them beef jerky. He shared that one volunteer in Ukraine is currently housing 20 refugees while producing more than one hundred pounds a week of jerky while her husband is fighting.
Hoping to increase donations to Rebuild Ukraine, Gavrilyuk is traveling to cities across America including Chicago and New York. Devoted to his cause, Gavrilyuk explained that “the assessment of the Russian invasion is simple,” noting their “callous” war crimes. Gavrilyuk’s commitment to sending critical life-saving supplies to Ukraine, with the help of his many volunteers and police departments, is an encouraging effort that is providing hope to Ukrainians and their families.