Kidsave is rescuing children and families in Ukraine and providing humanitarian aid.
Update: May 20, 2022
It’s been 13 weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, and the war continues. As soon as the invasion began, Kidsave shifted all our efforts towards rescue and evacuation and providing humanitarian aid. Since February 24, Kidsave has rescued 18,846 people—orphans, women and children, and those who are elderly or disabled—and has delivered over 230 tons of humanitarian aid.
While our team has been very fortunate to remain safe during this dangerous time, they have encountered many tragedies as they travel in and out of active combat zones. Chris, an American Kidsave volunteer with a medical background, met with the Angels of Hope and conducted a CPR training course with them. The team was extremely engaged in the training and grateful for Chris’s teaching.
With so many cities under siege and Russian checkpoints established on most major roadways, it has become increasingly difficult to travel in Ukraine and to get food and supplies to the people. Our Angels of Hope—a team that started as three dedicated Kidsave team members and has grown into a team of over 100 volunteers—have been working with other organizations and Kidsave volunteers in Poland to secure and deliver food, but they need your help. Please continue to give.
Update: May 14, 2022
As fuel is harder to source in Ukraine, Kidsave’s team has to be creative and resourceful. They have gathered sunflower oil canisters that they’ve washed out to store gasoline and trek from station to station gather a couple of gallons at a time.
Our American volunteers in Poland gathered 30 canisters of gasoline, rented cargo vehicles, and brought it over to our safe center in Vinnytsia. Sourcing fuel has been an all-hands-on-deck mission this past week.
Although we face a fuel shortage, our team hasn’t stopped bringing essential supplies and food to thousands of people in desperate need daily.
As of today, we’ve rescued 18,605 people from war zones, including 9574 innocent children.
Update: May 8, 2022
This Mother’s Day, women in Ukraine are making the difficult decision to stay at home and risk danger or leaving and facing the uncertainty of being a refugee in a foreign country with their children. Yesterday we provided food to civilians in bomb shelters. Many people don’t want to leave despite the conditions. They cook in the street between bombing and shelling. They face a difficult decision of what’s best for their children in the long run. One mother this weekend decided to send her 6 children with their grandmother to another city where they have relatives, while she and her husband stay in Mykolaiv to work. It was tough to say goodbye, but she did it to keep them safe.
To date, we have rescued 18,117 people from war zones and we are feeding about 8,000 people a day through our deliveries of humanitarian aid and our rescue centers. We are seeing a flood of people coming back into Ukraine, exhausted from the insecurity they are feeling abroad.
Update: May 4, 2022
As calls continue to pour in from civilians begging to be rescued, our team is gearing up for another big mission to evacuate children and families in the Mykolaiv region. Our biggest challenge is sourcing fuel for our vans. Our team and millions of Ukrainian civilians will likely face several weeks of fuel disruptions due to Moscow’s attacks on energy infrastructure, transportation bottlenecks, and a supply cutoff by Russia and Belarus, according to Reuters. As of now we’ve rescued 17,498 civilians from war zones, 9,153 have been children.
Update: April 30, 2022
Now 65 days into the war in Ukraine, our urgency remains. Children, mothers, and families still desperately need our help. We haven’t slowed down. We’ve rescued 17,273 people from dangerous war zones, including 9,067 children. We are vetting calls 24 hours a day from people who are facing unimaginable tragedy in their own backyards as bombs go off and buildings burn around them.
Friday morning on CNN, Kidsave’s CEO and co-founder talked about our efforts and the challenges of orphans who are facing fear and devastation without families. “There’s going to be a tremendous amount of work when this is all over,” she said. “We are already thinking about what we can do after this is over to get kids into families.”
With your continued support, Kidsave will be ready to rebuild, restore families, and place orphans into families when the war is over.
Update: April 27, 2022
As of today, we’ve rescued 16,484 civilians from war zones, 8,780 have been children. We recently evacuated 150 kids from Mykolaiv orphanages to a safe place in Ukraine and made sure they had an Easter celebration. They each got gift baskets filled with fruit, chocolate, wooden eggs and activities, thanks to the hard work of local volunteers who stuffed each basket with love. As of today, we’ve delivered more than 165 tons of humanitarian aid to people in need.
Update: April 24, 2022
Exactly two months into our rescue efforts, we’ve reached a major milestone delivering 15,515 people from war zones in Ukraine. Today we gifted hundreds of Orthodox Easter baskets to children to help them feel some joy and normalcy.
On CNN, actor and activist Liev Schreiber talked with Anderson Cooper about meeting our team in Ukraine. Schreiber said:
“This is an extraordinary guy named Pavlo Shulha and his wife who work in conjunction with an American charity actually called Kidsave. And Kidsave had initially set out to try to rescue 117 of their Kidsave orphans but then they started to work with this guy Pavlo. And Pavlo – between when the war started and now – with him and his wife and their [Kidsave] group have rescued, I think something like over 10,000 displaced women and children.
And this was a very sort of stoic guy and kind of the real Ray Donovan in many respects. Didn’t get emotional about anything he was saying to me until he told me a story about a kid in Culver City who held a bake sale and baked dog biscuits to send the money to Pavlo. And sent Pavlo $160. And when Pavlo told me that story, he just broke into tears. And it was incredibly moving to me that that’s the part that touched him after everything that he’d seen. That getting help from America, knowing that we felt connected, was probably the most powerful thing for him.“
Update: April 22, 2022
In Ukraine, the team is preparing for Orthodox Easter this weekend on April 24. They have packed Easter baskets with chocolates, treats, and activities for hundreds of kids. The team will hand them out to children at the rescue centers and as they make rescues on Sunday. We hope this surprise gift for kids will help them feel a bit of normalcy and joy while their worlds are changing as they know it. As of today, we’ve rescued 13,937 children and families from war zones in Ukraine. We have no plans of stopping.
Update: April 20, 2022
Our team recently faced the line of fire in Mykolaiv. A powerful bomb exploded and hit a nearby store. Thankfully, no one on our team was injured in the blast. Thanks to Kidsave supporters our team now has protective gear including helmets. To date, we have rescued 13,334 people including, 7, 311 children.
Update: April 16, 2022
As of today we’ve rescued 12,698 people, including 7,007 children. We have delivered at least 140 tons of food and humanitarian aid. We recently rescued our youngest person yet, a sweet 7-day-old baby girl and her mother Galina. A special thank you to our very own Olena Shulha, on Kidsave’s team, who made this rescue possible. In her words:
We have known Galina and her family for several years. She is an active volunteer for our organization in helping children and families in need. For nine years, she dreamed of having a second child. As soon as they started thinking about adoption or guardianship, without even waiting, she got pregnant.
When she was eight months pregnant, the war began. We offered Galina to go to a safe place, but due to severe stress, the doctor said that she was in danger of premature birth. Terrible time, constantly going down to the bomb shelter during air raids. But she is a very strong woman. On April 6, her beautiful daughter, Sofiyka, was born.
As soon as Galina and Sofiyka were discharged from the hospital, we agreed to take them to a safe place. We delivered them safely on April 13. Sofiyka’s father is in the military. He joined the army to defend his family. Thank God for trusting such tiny children to be in a safe place during this war. The mission of our Kidsave organization is to be Angels of Hope, and we are happy to do it.
Update: April 15, 2022
As of today, we’ve rescued 11,737 people from combat zones, including 5,542 kids.
We’ve been working to procure and purchase humanitarian aid, and arrange to get it to our team on the ground. They work with and deliver this aid to regional and municipal authorities, who then allocate to people sheltering in place or in the region. We delivered more than 130 tons of humanitarian aid from the border to hospitals and institutions in the combat areas.
We bring food in with rescues, leave it in the region, return with people, move them to the borders and pick up more food and supplies. Our team has been coming to the borders to pick up aid. We’re sourcing from US and Poland; Poland is preferred due to shipping. We feed about 6,000 people a day in the Mykolaiv and Kherson regions. We need steady support to purchase these goods.
Update: April 11, 2022
CD media – American Conversations Hosts Christine Dolan and L Todd Wood speak with Randi Thompson of KidSave.org on her team’s efforts to save children in war-torn Ukraine, where they have evacuated over 9,000 orphans. This interview is part of a series on The Fight Against Human Trafficking.
Update: April 10, 2022
When we started this journey 45 days ago, our first goal was to rescue 117 Kidsave kids and families in Ukraine. We’d never imagine the impact we’d make for thousands more. Our brave Angels of Hope have now helped 10,217 people escape danger. Of those, 5,834 have been children. Our team has made multiple trips to combat zones in Mykolaiv, Bashtanka, Snigurivka, Kherson, New Odesa, Ismail, Kharkiv, Kyiv, Chernihiv, and many more cities. We’ve delivered people to safe zones in Ukraine and to the borders of Romania, Germany, and Poland.
Update: April 8, 2022
This week we rescued 856 children and families from war-torn cities in Ukraine. As of today, we’ve rescued 9,850 people, 5,682 children total. By tomorrow we will reach 10,000 rescues. Women and children this week shared horrific stories of surviving for weeks with their children, and not having a place to hide. One woman named Tatiana relived the constant bombings from planes and shattered windows. “We were sitting in a basement scared to be buried alive,” she said. ” I had to leave everything to save my children.” More than anything she was grateful that her children are safe and alive.
Update: April 5, 2022
Over the weekend we spoke at length with our brave team in Ukraine. They told stories of their fears and the death and destruction they witnessed. They also sang beautiful songs of hope and comfort. As of today, we have now rescued 8,944 children and families from combat zones! Over the weekend and on Monday, we rescued civilians from Mykolaiv and delivered them to safe zones in Ukraine, and to the borders of Romania, Germany, and Poland.
Update: April 1, 2022
CALIFORNIA | LIVE
Kidsave Helping Children In Ukraine
MAKING A DIFFERENCE – NBC 7 San Diego – WATCH HERE
Laila speaks with the Co-founder and CEO of the organization rescuing children and families as well as providing humanitarian aid in that country.
Update: April 1, 2022
As of today, Kidsave’s “Angels of Hope” have rescued 7, 594 people, including 4,636 children from war zones in Ukraine. The rescue-es this week traveled from cities in Mykolayiv to Romania and Poland. Currently the greatest need is for humanitarian aid, medicine, insulin, supplies and food staples. We are sending this aid as quickly as we can. Your financial support goes straight to this effort.
Update: March 28, 2022
Over the weekend we rescued 547 people, including 295 children. What started as a small group of civilians and volunteers, this group of more than 100 heroes has expertly rescued more than 6,473 women, children, and elderly out of war zones. Kidsave’s team in Ukraine is reporting that we are the only non-profit group still evacuating civilians. They plan to make these 1200-mile treks into the most dangerous areas to save as many children and families as possible for the foreseeable future.
Update: March 25, 2022
Our Angels of Hope in Ukraine have not slowed down efforts to rescue children and families from the most dangerous areas in Mykolaiv. Today, our team has rescued 5,926 people. Of those 3,769 are children. In the last few days, we’ve delivered several people to Romania and to safer areas in Ukraine. Many of the people we’re rescuing now have spent nine or more days sheltering with scarce food and water in basements. Many have run desperately after our packed vehicles. Until we can return to get them, they are sheltering in place.
Update: March 21, 2022
Our brave team, known as “Angels of Hope” in Ukraine, risks their lives daily, traversing the most dangerous areas in Mykolaiv and beyond to rescue children and families. According to our boots on the ground, these “Angels” are the only evacuation team still traveling to certain war-torn villages. Last week, we saw drivers and volunteers smiling for the first time in days as they carried 100 infants from a baby orphanage and took them to safety. They say each journey has been more treacherous than the one before. As of today, we’ve rescued 4,809 vulnerable children and families. In the last few days alone, we’ve helped 373 children get to safety.
Update: March 18, 2022
Kidsave has helped more than 4,200 people get to safety. More than 2,700 of those are children, including 450+ orphans. On Tuesday the team on the ground moved 103 babies and toddlers from an orphanage to safety in Ukraine. These babies aren’t allowed to leave the country yet because of child welfare guidelines in Ukraine.
Update: March 15, 2022
To date we have moved 4035 people from combat zones, the majority are children. We’ve rescued 2626 Children, 328 children from orphanages of which 117 are special needs. Right now, our first priority is to get children living in institutions out of danger zones. The governors of the regions and the child welfare agencies are determining where the children go once they are out of Ukraine. We just want every child safe and accounted for and we are helping however we can.
Update: March 14, 2022
As of today we have moved 3,571 children, women and elderly from war zones. The majority of these people are over the border. A very small percentage are still in route to the border.
We’ve delivered 40 tons of aid that we collected from NGOs at the border to hospitals and rehab centers. Also shipping medical first aid kits (MFAK) to the field to protect our driver and refugees in the combat zone.
Update: March 10, 2022
Tunnel to Towers announces $1M donation to multiple charities to help children of Ukraine. CEO Frank Siller discusses his foundation’s partnership with Kidsave on ‘Fox & Friends.’
Fox & Friends
Update: March 8, 2022
Kidsave CEO, Randi Thompson, made an appearance on Spectrum News to discuss our rescue efforts in Ukraine.
Spectrum News Interviews Kidsave CEO Randi Thompson | 2022
Update: March 7, 2022
Thus far we have rescued 1,011 people from the combat zone, about 70 percent are children.
Some are heading to Moldova, some to the borders of the Czech Republic, some are going to Germany.
We now have a caravan of 28 vehicles with volunteer drivers through supporters like you. We’ve also delivered 7 tons of humanitarian aid we collected from other NGOs at the border. We’ve delivered aid to hospitals and children’s rehabilitation centers, and people in need en route back to the regions.
Update: Sunday, March 6, 2022, 2:55 pm
Because of your support, we’ve rescued 554 people so far from combat zones in Ukraine. At this moment, 383 of these women and children are en route to the border. We’ve secured seven large vans and one cargo vehicle. We are also working to secure smaller, more nimble vans to traverse fields and back roads. Each rescue and journey is perilous and challenging. We are thankful for the bravery and selflessness of our team and volunteers who continue to make this happen with your support.
Update: Thursday, March 3
We’ve now helped more than 200 kids and families get across the Polish border from Ukraine. Over the next two days, we will rescue 100 more and take them across the border into Slovakia, as the wait at the Polish border is now over 5 days. Once in Slovakia, volunteers are providing shelter and necessities.
As of today, we’ve been able to purchase a reliable 21-seat bus and rent two more. We are actively sourcing additional buses to buy or rent, whatever is available to move kids and families as fast as we can. Your gifts will continue to help us secure transportation and fuel.
Our dedicated team also plans to go to Lviv and Chernivtsi to load up on humanitarian aid, food and medication. They will head back to Mykolaiv to bring supplies and pick up more people for evacuation. It’s a slow, dangerous process, traveling on the back roads to avoid fighting Russian troops.
We are in awe at the bravery and dedication of our team in Ukraine and truly grateful to the people and the governments and citizens of neighboring countries.
The situation changes moment by moment, and we quickly adjust our efforts based on needs. Our goal is to get at least 1,000 children and families out of the conflict areas in the coming weeks.