Inside a small storefront in north Dallas, there are boxes of inventory that really don’t belong in a shop specializing in Ukrainian apparel.
But for “Ukie-Style” owner Olena Jacobs, several large cardboard boxes, and the contents inside, reflect the urgency of what is happening on the ground in Ukraine right now.
“There is a box here with bandages,” Jacobs said. “They are blood-clotting bandages, this is extremely important for people who get wounded.
Jacobs, who grew up in Eastern Ukraine, says everything in the boxes was purchased at army supply shops in the area. She says each shop sold the items at a considerable discount because the boxes are headed out Monday for Ukrainian citizens defending themselves against Russian forces.
“We ship it with air, they take it by airplane to Poland and then load it into trucks and drive to Ukraine,” Jacobs said.
She estimated it will take two weeks for the humanitarian supplies to arrive in Ukraine.
Even before Russia began an invasion Thursday, Ukrainian-Americans in North Texas have been simultaneously trying to raise awareness and financial support in any way possible.
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Friday, the Ukrainian Cultural Club of Dallas hosted a caravan from Plano to Fort Worth complete with vehicles adorned in blue and gold of the national flag.
Jacobs on Saturday worked well past 5 p.m. closing to help restock Ukrainian flags. Her apparel and embroidery shop quickly sold out of them, so she and a friend measured and cut cloth to sew new flags.
She added, the fastest and most impactful way anyone in North Texas can support Ukraine is through direct aid to reputable charities.
Jacobs says The Ukrainian Cultural Club of Dallas is a 501c-3 non-profit with extensive human infrastructure on the ground in Poland and Ukraine to ensure donations go directly to citizens in Ukraine.
“What is happening right now with Russia doing to Ukraine is only because Ukraine chosen a way of democracy,” Jacobs said. “We know from history dictators like that (Putin), they don’t stop.”