Ukrainian mechanic cuts through red tape to get supplies to his home country

Boris Levonenko owns and operates King Farm Auto Service in Rockville, Maryland. When he saw the horrific images coming from Ukraine, he wanted to do something to help friends and family back home.

“After watching the news for a couple of days. I felt really sad and depressed,” Levonenko told WTOP. “And everybody was saying ‘We are supporting them. We are supporting them,’ and I thought to myself, just saying it will not help much. I want to do something.”

Boris Levonenko
Boris Levonenko is using social media, an Amazon Wishlist and a Ukrainian shipping company to get much needed medical supplies to his home country. (Photo Boris Levonenko via Facebook)

Levonenko researched raising money through a larger nonprofit, but found that he wanted to get help to Ukraine faster than they could promise.

“Time is very critical,” he said. “They need these supplies yesterday.”

At the same time, Levonenko’s customers had been asking him how they could help the efforts in Ukraine.

“The only things we can send right now are medical supplies,” he said. “That’s what I’m doing right now.”

Levonenko took to social media and posted an Amazon Wish List of supplies that he could send directly to the Ukrainian front lines.

Dozens of boxes with supplies, like tourniquets and hemostatic gauze, have shown up at his business ready to be sent on to the war effort. He also received donations from local hospitals and doctors offices.

After receiving the donations, Levonenko has been taking the supplies to Delaware and shipping them through Ukraine Express Shipping Company. When they arrive in Lviv, Ukraine, volunteers take them to cities across the country, including Levonenko’s hard hit hometown of Kharkiv.

So far, he has shipped over 100 boxes of medical supplies. And support for his mission continues to grow.

Moving forward, Levonenko said he expects to send two to three shipments of supplies every week.

“I’m very impressed with the amount of people who are actually supporting by doing something, and not just the verbal support,” said Levonenko. “I’ve never seen so many large packages from Amazon in my life.”

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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