FINDLAY, Ohio — What started as a quick turnaround to possibly help Ukrainian refugees has grown into a multi-organization initiative.
When Ken Cooper, a partner at Buffalo Cartridge, was on the phone with his freight importer earlier this month, he learned the company runs a nonprofit called DTCare, which uses its logistics network to help humanitarian efforts.
Cooper called his friend Rich at City Uniforms & Linen to see if they had any supplies to donate.
"Within 48 hours, Rich and his dad Paul had jumped behind the project, donated something like 12 pallets of goods, I believe. Then, within another 48 hours, we had those on the ground in Europe, directly helping people in need; and then the project just went from there," Cooper said.
But, that $87,000 donation of trauma center supplies was just the beginning. Now the initiative, called Project Help Now, has grown in Findlay.
Multiple local churches have begun donating and packaging emergency medical supplies to be shipped directly to refugee camps in Eastern Europe.
"You just can't watch what's going on over there and have your heart not be aching for what going on, and to find out there's a way that we could help, and a way that we could help that we knew what we were doing was going to matter immediately," owner of The Buffalo Trading Company, John Larbus said.
Project Help Now is still asking for direct medical supply or online monetary donations.
Organizers said the initiative will continue as long as they see a need.
"As more people come in we just want them to understand, it's not a drop in the bucket, this is going to be a marathon for this to transpire," Roy Mason with The Buffalo Trading Company said.
"I hope we're inspiring others to contribute more, and I'm sure there's a lot of people who want to. So hopefully, it kind of drives the whole process and we can make a little impact in a place where things aren't going so good," Rich Kramer, president at City Uniforms and Linen, said.
The Buffalo Trading Company is just one of the multiple drop-off sites around Findlay. You can find more information on the Buffalo Trading Company website.
If you'd rather make a monetary donation online, those donations will help fund the $5 per kilogram shipping cost for the supplies.