ABW volunteers Andre and Charlie unloading flour from the back of an ABW van in Ukraine as part of the unloading process at a shelter in Ukraine.

Unwavering Dedication: Another amazing volunteer’s story

As the war in Ukraine enters its third year, our commitment to providing vital humanitarian aid to those affected by the conflict remains unwavering. Today, we’d like to take a moment to introduce you to Andre, another member of the team at Actions Beyond Words (ABW). Since joining our headquarters in January 2024, fresh off the plane from Canada, Andre has been non-stop, learning the organization and how to find a niche to bring his own passions and style to the support we offer.

untitled design 1
Andre is all simles, finally inside of ABW Headquarters
(credit: Hoshi-San of WDRAC)
2 6
Andre off loading a 40′ truck and descoering a box of gifts for a newborn girl donated generously by Nada-Nord
untitled design
Andre hitting the gas, and missing the pot holes on the drive back from a shelter in Ukraine following a successful aid drop-off

Inspired by the urgent call to action amidst the war’s outbreak, Andre decided to pause his medical studies and dedicate himself to our relief efforts across Ukraine. Despite being away from his family for extended periods, his commitment remained evident. With the backing of his family and academic institution, Andre seamlessly merged into our team, coordinating aid shipments, overseeing daily tasks, and actively engaging in aid missions throughout the country. His time with us and his approach to work reveal his true character, as well as his sincere desire to support the people of Ukraine.

Reflecting on his experience, Andre shared, “I remember stepping off the bus in Medyka, seeing Simon (ABW co-founder), and the first thing he did was give me a hug. Looking back, that hug truly captured the essence of my time here.” It surprised us to hear that such a simple gesture had left such a lasting impression on him, yet it was also heartwarming. Andre continued, “The warmth emanating from the ABW co-founders towards their volunteers and the recipients of our support in Ukraine is palpable in everything they do and how they do it. The impact of ABW‘s work is evident in the smiles of those we assist. The gratitude we receive, from the border guards who share light-hearted moments with us despite language barriers, to the families living in makeshift homes and shelters thousands of miles from their own, is incredibly touching. I’ve developed a deep affection for the Ukrainian people, their nation, and their resilience, far beyond what I anticipated when I left home. It’s an rewarding experience to wake up each morning knowing your work directly helps those in desperate need and more importantly, your work has almost immediate impact.”

However, it hasn’t been without its challenges. This is the longest he has been apart from his daughters since they were born, and he missed both of their birthdays this year. Due to the time zone difference, he doesn’t get to speak to them often or for very long. He also shared his initial trepidation about entering Ukraine. “When I first got here, I was committed to supporting the effort on the Polish side of the border. As time went on, I felt that crossing into Ukraine was the best way to make an impact. I never felt pressured to; I just felt the need to go, it built more with every day, and after extensive discussions with my wife, I’m so glad I did. Being in Ukraine has been such a fulfilling experience. I’ve met, hugged, and laughed with some wonderful individuals who have lost so much yet find a way to give back tenfold in their gratitude and kindness. My heart aches as I think about the hardship they’ve endured, but it has truly lit the fire that keeps me going, trying to do as much as I possibly can to ensure that humanitarian aid continues to get delivered to the region.”

Andre’s story highlights the commitment of volunteers who devote themselves to serving those in need. If you feel inspired by Andre’s example and wish to contribute to our mission, we would welcome your involvement. Visit our website to explore volunteer opportunities and ways to support our efforts, or check us out on Instagram

I hope the world can continue to step up and support them in their struggle as their lives and freedom depend on it. I feel privileged to have been part of this support and so grateful to my family for allowing me to be here.”

No Comments

Post a Comment