(COLORADO SPRINGS) — A Colorado Springs woman and a Ukrainian refugee teamed up to send generators to war-torn cities in Ukraine.
Whitney Luckett, owner of SIMKO North America, used her connections as a company that has been in the global supply chain since the mid-1980s, and Yana Malyk has connections with the Luhansk government, so they were able to start the organization and have it up and running within a matter of weeks.
Currently, local sources report 90% of Luhansk, an eastern province, is without power.
“Russian soldiers hit many electricity stations and now people without light, without [warmth], they can’t cook,” Malyk said.
In mid-November, Malyk and Luckett both decided they had to do something.
“Ukraine Power is [a] special organization which can help Ukrainian people with [warmth], with generators, with heaters,” Malyk said, who is now the executive director of Ukraine Power.
Malyk and her family fled eastern Ukraine in the spring of 2022.
“My husband and I sponsored the Malyk family to come live with us,” Luckett said.
So, she said Malyk knew first-hand how dire the situation was over there.
“Her home was 40 kilometers from the border. And so, she’s there,” Luckett said. “Her house, her seven businesses have pretty much been lost.”
So, Ukraine Power began.
“Just a few days ago, we bought 45 generators and sent [them] to Ukraine and very soon it should be in Lviv,” Malyk said.
And, not a moment too soon, because temperatures can drop well below zero in the winter.
“For the most part, they hide underground all day, and they will go outside to try to light a fire to eat. And they will be bombed. They’re just killing Ukrainians for sport right now,” Luckett said.
As the crisis continues on, Ukraine Power said their goal is to buy another 45 generators and send them off next week. They also said they are thankful for all the support they have received from their community so far.
“We have somebody that just showed up with $100 check and a book of poems that he had written for Ukraine,” Luckett said with a laugh. “And it is just wonderful to see people open their hearts and support the Ukrainian people.”