Ukrainian Relief Efforts
Feb 21 2023
With your support, Hope Through Healing Hands has been able to raise over $420,000 to help those impacted by the Russian invasion into Ukraine.
Last spring, Hope Through Healing Hands helped facilitate 85 pallets of needed medical supplies, which were picked up on March 19, 2022 by a Polish Air Force cargo plane at Berry Field in Nashville and flown directly to Poland, where they were received by the First Lady of Poland Agata Kornhauser-Duda and distributed throughout eastern Poland and Ukraine. The remaining supplies were picked up by the nonprofit Samaritan’s Purse at the end of March and flown into Poland for delivery throughout eastern Poland and Ukraine.
Receipt of medical supplies from Tennessee by the First Lady of Poland and Polish government.
In addition, Hope Through Healing Hands has partnered in supporting the on-the-ground work of Samaritan’s Purse and the International Rescue Committee (IRC). Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational Christian nonprofit organization that has helped meet needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine since 1970, and HTHH has a nearly two-decade history of collaborating with the nonprofit on medical mission trips and aid initiatives.
Since the very beginning of the conflict, Samaritan’s Purse has been deploying disaster relief teams, medical facilities, and vast amounts of supplies to the region with the aim of saving lives and relieving suffering among Ukrainian families. From March to mid-June of 2022, the nonprofit established a 58-bed emergency field hospital in Lviv (which treated up to 100 patients a day in its emergency room and conducted up to 10 surgeries a day in its operating room), and established two additional emergency clinics in southern and central Ukraine. (Your support enabled us to get funding to Samaritan’s Purse in the immediate days after they first opened their field hospital).
This fall, they stood up an emergency field hospital in a newly liberated area to provide much needed medical care. Through their medical supply airlift program, they have supplied 115 Ukrainian hospitals with critical needs including pharmaceuticals and bandages. And by working through a large network of 2,000 local church partners, have distributed 102 million pounds of food, over 23,000 blankets and 44,000 solar lights, and produced 31 million liters of clean water.
Samaritan’s Purse field hospital in Ukraine.
The International Rescue Committee, a nonprofit that has a nearly 90-year history of responding to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, also received support from HTHH for their Ukraine efforts. The IRC has been working to ensure people affected by the war in Ukraine are able to meet their immediate and basic needs with safety and dignity by providing emergency cash assistance to conflict-affected individuals, and distributing survival essentials, such as hygiene kits, dignity kits for women and adolescent girls, kits with learning and healing materials for children, and household or shelter items, as well as provide housing support for over 3,500 affected families.
The IRC has offices in 5 cities and works both directly and with local partners to provide humanitarian assistance to people living in the east and south of the country, where fighting is currently the heaviest, the temperatures will drop lowest this winter, and the needs are most dire. They are actively implementing activities in 10 oblasts (aka provinces) with a winter distribution program to help families, which Hope Through Healing Hands has helped support.
In December, at the request of the Ukraine Ministry of Health, our chair and founder Senator Bill Frist facilitated an observership for a multidisciplinary team of Ukrainian transplant physicians at the Vanderbilt Transplant Center, the busiest heart transplant center in the world (which Frist originally founded in 1989). Hope Through Healing Hands helped sponsor the Ukrainian physicians’ travel to Nashville, where they learned from Vanderbilt physicians how to improve outcomes in their nascent heart transplant program, and how to set up a lung transplant program in their nation (where only a single case of lung transplantation has occurred). These doctors have been performing surgeries by flashlight or limited generator power, treating a surge of wounded soldiers, and routinely find themselves sleeping in the hospital for days – often with their own family members serving on the front lines or being separated for long months with their children having evacuated to other nations.
Ukrainian physicians meet with Senator Bill and Tracy Frist at their home in Franklin, TN.
Senator Frist shared of the learning exchange, “We were able to start and create a world-leading Transplant Center at Vanderbilt over three decades ago because we learned from other centers of excellence. This week, Vanderbilt shared with our Ukrainian counterparts the cutting-edge medicine of our nation, so they can stand up their own best-in-class program thousands of miles away in the midst of unfathomable circumstances.”
You can read more about the Ukrainian transplant team's experience in this three-part series in the Nashville Business Journal entitled, "Operating in Darkness":
- Part 1 - https://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2023/01/11/operating-in-darkness-the-long-road-from-ukraine.html?b=1673441046%5E22190738
- Part 2 - https://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2023/01/12/operating-in-darkness-ukraine-doctors-vanderbilt.html?b=1673527757%5E22191447
- Part 3 - https://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2023/01/13/operating-in-darkness-from-frists-table-back-to.html?b=1673614118%5E22192408
Finally, Hope Through Healing Hands is directly aiding Ukrainian refugees resettling in Middle Tennessee. Two families who left everything behind to flee to the U.S. have received direct support from HTHH to begin rebuilding their lives here in Nashville. We’ve also provided grant funding to the Nashville International Center for Empowerment, the largest refugee and immigrant resettlement organization in Middle Tennessee, to support the economic, linguistic, and civic integration of Ukrainian refugees, removing barriers to employment, housing, transportation, education, and other needs.
We will continue to support humanitarian aid efforts in Ukraine in 2023, and are investigating partnerships to provide direct aid on the ground with the relationships we’ve developed with the Ukrainian transplant surgical team, and through other humanitarian organizations.
We are immensely grateful to and humbled by our donor community who responded overwhelmingly to meet the needs of the Ukrainian people in unimaginable crisis.
To continue to support our efforts in Ukraine, visit: https://www.hopethroughhealinghands.org/donate
You can also mail a check to:
Hope Through Healing Hands, P.O. Box 158554, Nashville, TN 37215