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Stanford Students to Spend Last Days of Break in Ukraine

While many college students are finishing up their summer vacations, two Stanford students will spend the final days of their break in a warzone.

They’re leaving for Ukraine this week to provide some desperately-needed help to those trying to save lives. 

Andrei Molchynsky was born and raised in Ukraine and now lives in Canada, and Alex Clark is an Army veteran from St. Louis.

The two met at Stanford and became fast friends. Now, they’re heading for the warzone working with the Ukrainian Student Association at Stanford.

“[I thought] if I was Ukrainian or if I was in this situation, how would I deal with that and how would I want others to help me?” said Clark. 

They started Project Independence Day and have raised nearly $100,000 using their backgrounds, and connections, to find out what supplies will help the most. 

“Almost within two days of us committing to do something together he got a call from his contacts in Kryvyi Rih, a front-line city roughly 25 to 50 kilometers from the front line,” said Clark. “With a population that’s swelling from people moving east to west and a population from people who are injured from combat and ultimately they said our medical system is buckling, we need support.”

They bought three ambulances and are flying out to Europe this week to pick them up. They’re also bringing 80 two-way radios. 

Their team of six will then drive them across the Ukrainian border and into the city of Kryvyi Rih, Molchynsky’s hometown, for a doorstep delivery to those trying to save lives there.

“I suspect I’ll be involved in this humanitarian and volunteering effort for months to come, so it’s always good to have your own judgement and your own assessment of the situation on the ground,” said Molchynsky. 

Their goal is to arrive by Ukraine’s original Independence Day – August 24. 

Hoping their efforts will help more people survive to celebrate a new kind of independence someday soon. 

“It’s symbolism, and symbolism is very important in this war that is so obvious right from wrong,” said Molchynsky. “Light versus darkness.”

They’ll be posting and sharing their journey on their Instagram page Project Independence Day

Molchynsky is also the co-president of the Ukrainian Students Association at Stanford, which has raised millions since the invasion began.

He says in March, they chartered a plane and delivered 35 tons of humanitarian aid, and 600,000 doses of insulin.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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