Kaysville couple raising money to help refugees at Ukrainian border

Mar 18, 2022, 6:14 PM | Updated: Jun 14, 2022, 11:40 pm

KAYSVILLE, UtahEver since Russia invaded Ukraine three weeks ago, a Kaysville couple knew they needed to do something to help.

They both lived and worked in Russia, and still have friends on both sides of the border.

Brian and Amanda Grow can’t stop worrying about what’s happening to the refugees. So, next week, Brian is headed to the Ukrainian border.

“We felt this large feeling of helplessness and shock and awe of what’s going on there,” Brian said.

As he and his wife watched the people of Ukraine face unthinkable tragedies, they came up with a plan of action.

“We have been very, very involved with those people,” Brian said. “We have friends that are over there on both sides.“

Both speak the language, having volunteered in Russia, and later working as guides on educational adventures.

“We’ve just been really concerned with what’s going on there,” he said.

So, they are raising money on GoFundMe* and on Venmo (@Brian-Grow).

Their kids pitched in Friday with a bake sale, tapping in on the wave of support in their neighborhood. One neighbor paid $100 for a brownie, and they rang up more than $1,000 for the humanitarian effort.

Next week, Brian and a few friends will join people on the border of Ukraine and Moldova who are already doing humanitarian work. Their contacts there have told them the needs are significant and growing, and there are things they can do to directly impact the lives of many refugees.

Here’s what Brian expects to do each day when he’s there:

“We go to the grocery store, we fill these vans full of groceries, and we drive to the border crossing. At that point, we pick up whoever is there that needs help to be transported to other places,” he said.

They will drive those people to safe houses, or get them started on their journey further into Moldova, or onto other European nations.

They will also hand out blankets and Sim cards to refugees.

“As soon as they cross the country’s border, their cell phones don’t work,” Brian said. “So, we buy Sim cards, and we hand them to them as they cross the border, so that way, they can communicate with their relatives that they’ve left behind.”

Amanda fears we’re heading into another Cold War, in which it’s us versus them.

“Where they’re seen as the enemy, and that’s what’s been most painful for me,” she said. “It’s to see my friends in Russia kind of cut off from us, and I hope that we can find ways to stay connected.”

Their contacts in Moldova will help Brian determine where humanitarian aid will be most helpful.

“We’re excited,” he said. “They are people that we love, and we want our kids to see that when you can help, you help, and you do as much as you can.”

Brian says he’s not at all apprehensive. He was distraught when he was trying to figure out what to do. Now, he’s at peace with his plan.

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Kaysville couple raising money to help refugees at Ukrainian border