Utah man travels to Ukrainian border to shuttle refugees 

Mar 1, 2022, 10:41 AM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 9:53 pm

SPANISH FORK, Utah— A Utah man is on his way to the Poland-Ukraine border to help shuttle people out of the war torn area. 

David Gashler and his wife Tatyana, who is from Ukraine, felt compelled to help after hearing what their family members and friends are going through, thousands of miles away. The family travels to the country often and was last there visiting relatives in August 2021.

“People are actually dying! My Ukrainian people are dying, innocent people,” Tatyana Gashler said. “It is just really hard to sit here and do nothing. We decided we needed to do something.” 

On Tuesday, David will fly to Poland where he will rent an SUV. He plans to cross the border into Ukraine and pick up citizens in Lviv who are trying to leave the country. He has already been in contact with locals who are helping him set up the trip, which will take three hours one way.

“I think I can make this trip about three or four times. I’ve already had people in the area reach out to me asking to actually drive them across the border to safety,” he said.

The family also collected money through a bake sale to help purchase items to donate to those in need. In all, they were able to raise $3,100 from members in the community on their Venmo account (@sushka).

Gashler spent most of Monday packing up his suitcase with the donated supplies.

“We have things like beef jerky for the soldiers, candy bars for the kids, protein bars for people, diapers, formula,” Gashler said.

Already nearly 500,000 Ukrainians have crossed the border into surrounding countries. 

The family understands David’s trip is dangerous but they are willing to take the risk knowing they will help those who are fleeing for their lives.

“I feel like it’s also part of my duty to go back and help as much as I can in the amount of days that I will be there,” he said.

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Utah man travels to Ukrainian border to shuttle refugees