This article originally appeared on wtvr.com
As the war in Ukraine enters its eighth month, the Richmond Ambulance Authority (RAA) and Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association (VHHA) are joining with other first responders across the country and helping send the supplies to aid the Ukrainians.
Chris Manson, the founder of U.S. Ambulances for Ukraine, said Ukrainians were grateful to learn about an RAA ambulance loaded with medical supplies donated by VHHA members that will soon be sent to the war-ravaged nation.
“They can’t wait to have it, that it’s needed desperately,” Manson said. “I just can’t express enough thanks for that.”
The donations are going to Manson’s nonprofit, U.S. Ambulances for Ukraine, which he launched after the war started when his seven-year-old asked him about it.
“And she said, you know, ‘Dad, is there anything that we can do to help?’ And so that got me thinking,” Manson said.
The photo above shows the first ambulance Manson sent over. He has sent 18 of them so far.
“This is why America is such a special place, that we are willing to dig deep,” Sen. Mark Warner (D – Virginia) said.
Friday, the contribution was celebrated by state and local leaders, including Sen. Warner, who helped load some of the supplies and wrote their names and messages of support on the vehicle.
“This in so many ways represents kind of the heart of who we are as Americans,” Warner said. “We send assistance to our government, but we also make these kinds of charitable contributions.”
RAA CEO Chip Decker said the decision to help out was an easy one.
“To be able to take an idea and use it to help people, especially people that are so deserving,” Decker said.
Manson said Richmond’s ambulance is likely going to a fire department in a city that’s seen missile and drone strikes.
In the end, he says the work they’re doing not only helps the Ukrainians in their fight, but let’s them know they’re not alone.
“We’re not doing the hard, heavy lifting, but we care. And we’re trying to do what we can to help,” Manson said. “Honestly the reactions I’ve seen from people, and the conversations I’ve had, I think that’s maybe not as important, but it’s almost as important.”
People signed their names and added messages of support on the ambulance. RAA officials said they will leave the ambulance in the lot until Nov. 9, so the public can leave messages, too.