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Central Indiana charity providing food, water, medicine in Ukraine

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — In February, Noblesville-based Mission to Ukraine prepared for the possibility Russia would invade Ukraine.

The war has gone on for almost two weeks now, and the reality of the situation is setting in.

The mission, headquartered in Zhitomir, Ukraine, usually assists women in crisis and children with special needs. Now, the organization is handing out food, water, medicine, and clothes to those in Ukraine who need it.

Don Lawton is a board member for Mission to Ukraine.

“I got word today that one of the dads I met at camp this summer, who has a daughter that’s in a wheelchair and is basically a quadriplegic, [Russian forces] bombed her school out in the village,” Lawton said.

Lawton says they usually have a hundred volunteers at the mission in Zhitomir, but less than half of them are still in Ukraine.

“The other 60% have left, gone to Poland, the Czech Republic, I think some are going to Germany, Romania. They’re going wherever they have relatives and safe shelter,” Lawton said.

The remaining volunteers are still in Zhitomir, which is two hours west of the capital city of Kyiv.

Lawton says Mission to Ukraine is also seeing an influx of refugees from the eastern part of Ukraine as Russian forces advance.

“I saw a picture today of one of the churches that was damaged, and I was in that church last July. It’s unbelievable to think is this really happening, to a place that I am familiar with,” Lawton said.

Lawton says he is planning a trip to Ukraine in the coming weeks to help his volunteers.

Mission to Ukraine organization is taking donations, 100% of which go to helping Ukrainians affected by the war.