“I’ve lost friends, I’ve lost some people, but what can you do? You can fight,” said Karolina Konieczna.
Konieczna, an MSU student from Poland; John Wolf, a retired truck driver; Barbara Bland, a nurse—these and many others have joined forces to save lives in Ukraine. Together, they created the Bozeman Ukraine Relief Effort, or URE.
From the first weeks of the Ukraine crisis in March 2022, URE has been collecting donations of life-saving medical equipment from various hospitals, clinics, private individuals, and medical supply companies around Montana.
URE also provides architectural aid to Ukraine. One of the architects on the ground, MSU student Michael Behm, is working to design and renovate much-needed housing for Internally Displaced Persons.
URE is a small organization with a huge impact and a lot of heart.
“You see the news, but you don’t really know what it’s like until you experience it,” said Wolf.
“These people are literally running for their lives,” added Bland.
And the URE mission is far from over.
“I get very emotional talking about it,” said Wolf. “Just meeting the people that live there, they’re incredibly humble and grateful that we we’re complete strangers coming in to help them.”
To learn more about joining the relief effort and supporting the URE, visit the Ukrainian Relief Effort website.