COLORADO SPRINGS — Zoya Harmon is helping her hometown with the help of her mother and The Ski Shop, Inc.

Zoya Harmon and her mother originally went into The Ski Shop, Inc. to pick up free boxes from a Craigslist ad. The two had been purchasing winter clothes from Goodwill stores to send to Ukrainian soldiers.

“It really started organically. We had two women come in answering a Craigslist ad,” said Debbie Uhl, Owner of The Ski Shop, Inc. “We had four free boxes and they took all of them. And so we were like, ‘Wow, are you moving?'”

Harmon and her mother explained to the store they were picking up boxes to fill with clothes to send overseas.

Zoya Harmon and her mother standing in front of the coat donation box.

“We thought, you know, we’re a ski shop and a lot of our customers have old winter wear, we can do something with this, and we offered to help them,” said Uhl.

Harmon said she was overwhelmed with emotions when The Ski Shop, Inc. offered to host a coat donation drive.

“For me, it’s my native country. It’s really heartbreaking. For me, it’s like something happened to my family,” said Harmon. “So just knowing that people care is really, really heartwarming for me. And I’m just so grateful to the ski shop.”

Harmon’s brother still lives in Ukraine and she shared images he had sent of his apartment.

“So it’s not just people that you see on TV, like it’s real,” said Harmon. “It’s every day. And just the fact that American people are so compassionate and empathetic to this cause like I’m at a loss of words.”

The donations will be sent to a volunteer organization that Harmon knows personally and trusts.

“I only work with volunteers whom I know personally from my native town because there are a lot of scams going on unfortunately,” said Harmon. “I only work with volunteers who are very accountable.”

The donation drive is accepting children’s coats and winter gear for women to send to Ukrainian refugees.

“The first round is really going to be geared toward soldiers. But we’re accepting everything because in the second round, is going more toward the refugees,” said Uhl. “So the kids and the women and men that aren’t fighting, that are sleeping in arenas right now because they have no home.”

The Ski Shop Inc. is accepting donations until Oct. 22 and accepts monetary donations in store.

Ski boot on the counter in The Ski Shop Inc. for monetary donations

If you don’t have anything and you still want to help, we are taking monetary donations because they are sending all of this on their dime and we are trying to help them out on that,” said Uhl.