***PROMISES MADE, PROMISES KEPT***
Today in Zaporizhia, Ukraine (110 miles from Maripol) at one of the only schools still trying to function… This principal gave out 25 of our backpacks to kids who are still coming to school. They asked if they could have 10 more…. Because 10 kids didn’t get one. Let that sink in for a minute. 10 kids, living in a war zone, trying to go to school, didn’t get a backpack. (By the way, we can build 10 backpacks for $250.00 and have them delivered inside the Ukraine).
There are people working behind the scenes helping our little mom & pop grassroots operation that don’t have too. But we hit the ground in the early days of this tragedy and have since worked 24 hours a day to build a trustworthy logistics line that is working. These pictures prove it. When doors closed on us, we kept knocking until one opened. We captured over 80 contacts from people working in and around the border area in 48 hours… and it paid off. Now, several NGO’s are co-dependent on each other and the machine is running on its own. We also have direct contact with Polish, German, Ukrainian, and American government personal to insure we are not putting our people in direct danger.
What we have pulled off is beyond extraordinary. Just a bunch of pilots with big hearts and tears in their eyes who said… “Nope, done laying down on this one! I’m doing something about it.” And you have. You delivered backpacks to children in a war zone. We were told it will never work, you don’t have the necessary tools for this, leave it to the big boys to do the humanitarian aid… Aren’t you glad we didn’t listen to that?
If you have donated money, time, or backpacks… Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I honestly had no clue this would unfold the way it did, but it has been the most amazing thing I’ve seen a pilot group do in my 28 years of flying. If you haven’t donated, there’s still time… because there are still 10 school kids in Zaporizhia that need a backpack.
I am also forever grateful to the IPA pilots I work with, and their families…
William ‘Stevie Ray’ Vaughan