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Utahn in Poland helping transport Ukrainians to safety

Posted at 5:47 PM, Mar 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-29 19:47:57-04

More than a month into Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Utahns continue to help the Ukrainian people in a variety of ways.

READ: 100,000 Ukrainian refugees set to enter U.S., but few expected in Utah

A man, who goes by the name Maverick, is a former marine and current police officer in Utah. He said after seeing what was playing out in Ukraine, he felt the need to help out.

"We could help these people and help Ukraine and we can help the Ukrainian armed forces by ensuring that their families are safe," said Maverick.

That landed Maverick and his friend, Nate, in Poland earlier this month. Ever since, they have helped shuttle Ukrainian women and children from the border. Often times, Maverick said, they make a two-hour, one-way trip to Krakow and other places, just to get them to safety.

He started an Instagram page, @convoy4ukraine, documenting their efforts along the way.

"What most of us volunteers are doing is we are taking them to a hotel, then we pick them up the next day and take them through the train station or the bus station," Maverick said in one of his videos.

Maverick adds that what originally began as a self-funded effort has turned into so much more after taking to social media. He said he started receiving donations, which have gone to help Ukrainians, like one family of six in particular.

"We were able to buy plane tickets, bus tickets, hotel rooms, you know, we've been giving them cash because a lot of their value that they have is gone," said Maverick.

In addition, they've also been able to supply Ukrainians with backpacks and suitcases to help transport their belongings.

"I handed this backpack to a family and this young kid, he's probably 10, 11-years-old, several minutes later we were already down the line a bit, he came running up to us with his cell phone and had a statement in Ukrainian translated to English and it said, 'I want to thank you for all you're doing to help us,'" Maverick shared.

It is compliments like that which Maverick said mean the world to him.

"It's awesome, it is man, it's like, it was way more than I ever thought it was going to be," said Maverick.

When speaking to FOX 13 News on Tuesday, Maverick said he had 64 backpacks in the back of his car. He said he was heading to the border to supply Ukrainians who were coming into Poland.

Maverick says him and his friend Nate will continue to help out, until they head back home on Friday.