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  • Oleh Orlov

Essential supplies for volunteers in the first 10 days of the war

The first week of the war was difficult. Nobody at what we now call Silver Ukraine would have ever thought that saying something like “Before the war started” would become a normal part of our daily chats with friends. But once we understood that the russian rocket strikes were real and relentless, and that we could manage the initial psychological shock of the invasion, we knew that we would stay to defend our beloved city. And so we began to call friends and loved ones to offer support and to coordinate quick action.

In the days immediately after the attacks, some of our friends left Kyiv, hoping to bring their families to a safer place. Some went straight to sign up for service in the Territorial Defense Forces to protect their homes. Some stayed on in their duties with the regular Armed Forces of Ukraine and others continued to stand strong in their work at local hospitals. Meanwhile many other Ukrainians saw that it was critical to start doing something, anything, to help those who were in immediate need. So instead of sitting around and waiting to see how events would unfold, we decided to act.

It took a couple of days before the governing bodies of the Territorial Defense Forces and the Armed Forces of Ukraine became fully functional. Yet it was clear to us that the provisioning of food and basic supplies was going to be needed from day one. So we began by cooking meals for our defenders and delivering them to those we knew at their posts around Kyiv, along with flasks of warm coffee, blankets, and basic medicines and first aid supplies.

At first we were able to get all that we needed from the nearest grocery stores and shopping malls. But soon gas and other items became scarce, and their prices skyrocketed. After we had spent all the money we had in our personal bank accounts, we posted the first message on social media to ask people for some financial support. And thanks to friends and even total strangers who supported us, in the first 10 days we managed to buy about $5,000 worth of food, coffee, cigarettes, medicines, blankets, sleeping mats, toilet paper, towels, and warm socks, among other items.

No doubt, keeping ourselves busy doing these little things each day kept us all sane. It also put us in touch with a lot of amazing people from different walks of life. Soon they all became part of our network. And we became part of theirs.

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