CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – A group of Ukrainian soldiers, injured in the war, will spend the next few days in the Lowcountry.
Ten soldiers were greeted by supporters at the Charleston International Airport on Monday. They travelled to the United States to receive free prosthetics from the Protez Foundation in Minnesota.
They are visiting Charleston as part of their rehabilitation process, before heading back to Ukraine.
“For us, its like an honor to have those guys here in Charleston. We are so ready to show them love and support and southern hospitality,” said Maka Aptsiauri, the president of the nonprofit, CHS4Ukraine.
Aptsiauri and her husband, Aleksandr Pavlichenko, are the owners of Euro Foods in West Ashley.
“I’m from the Republic of Georgia and my husband, he is from Ukraine. He still has a majority of his family and relatives still in Ukraine,” Aptsiauri.
Shortly after the war broke out last February, Aptsiauri started the nonprofit, CHS4Ukraine. With the support of the community, the organization started raising money and collecting supplies to send overseas.
“We always want to remind people nothing really changed. The Ukrainians still need help and probably Ukraine is going to need help for decades to come,” Aptsiauri said.
The nonprofit has raised close to $200,000 dollars over the last year. Volunteers have made more than 25 trips to Eastern Europe, to deliver suitcases full of tactical medical equipment and other essential needs to those on the front lines.
“As of now, we have confirmed several cases that we know of, the supplies that we sent directly affected and saved the lives of several people,” said Anna Spann, the Secretary of CHS4Ukraine.
Community members will have a chance to meet the Ukrainian soldiers at Westminster Presbyterian Church from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
Aptsiauri said CHS4Ukraine is accepting monetary donations. To learn more, click here.