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Local Ukrainian woman raises around $1 million in aid for wartorn country

Posted at 6:06 PM, Apr 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-18 20:06:58-04

A Ukrainian woman with ties to the Beehive State is doing her part to help her homeland as Russia's invasion continues.

Svitlana Miller, an alumna of Brigham Young University and a native of Kyiv, felt she had to do something after watching the crisis in Ukraine take place.

"It was just paralyzing when everything happened February 23, watching missiles," said Miller. "It was the worst day of my life by far."

Miller and her husband began by trying to raise money to purchase a couple of drones that cost close to $2,000 each.

Within days, she says, they raised more than $70,000. Miller says the donations didn't stop there.

"We've raised around $1 million dollars worth of aid in cash," said Miller.

Along the way, Miller started a non-profit called To Ukraine with Love.

The money that has been raised is being used in a variety of different ways.

"Medical supplies, body armor, food, just people needed here. They're desperate — people have no food," said Miller. "We've brought sleeping bags. We've brought, you know, blankets, baby formula, people."

Miller says they have raised enough funds for 1,000 bulletproof vests that cost $500 apiece. She says they also raised a couple hundred thousand dollars in medical supplies, including military-grade first aid kits.

The primary goal now for Miller and her organization is to continue to raise money to buy goods in Europe. Also, they are hoping to provide gas for Ukrainians risking their lives to transport aid to people in the most devasted communities in Ukraine.

"We just need to help the people in Ukraine hold their ground a little longer. If they can do that, they can survive just a little longer, they can outlast the enemy and they can win this war," said Miller.

She says they have 42 drivers volunteering their time and bought five more vans, thanks to generous donations.

Miller tells FOX 13 News she will be in Ukraine until Friday.