When it's a life or death situation, in harsh situations like these, I just cannot stay aside
In Kharkiv, Denis lives close to the blood transfusion center, which was shelled in the first days of the war. The children’s regional hospital, which is very close to this center, was also damaged by shrapnel. At that time, there were many children and medical staff in the hospital. Without thinking twice, Denis went to the store to buy everything the children needed to help them last through the first few days: baby formula, diapers, food and sweets.
His friend Sergei, who, as a jeep driver, was a member of the car club, joined him. They made a call for volunteers and the very next day more jeep drivers joined them ready to help people. Now the team consists of about 10 people – two coordinate the work, the rest are engaged in purchasing and delivering food and goods. At first, the guys supplied food to a children’s hospital, a maternity hospital and a perinatal center. But now hospitals and other public healthcare institutions are being supplied by the city authorities and large volunteer organizations. Therefore, Denis and his team redirected their efforts to help the elderly and the single mothers who remained in their apartments or basements and were unable to leave. Every day, Denis’s team fulfills up to 100 requests for food and goods.
The guys use their personal savings to provide help, collect donations in social media, and also receive humanitarian aid from global organizations. The main daily expenses include fuel and car depreciation, as well as fresh food: bread, eggs, milk. Help is organized and delivered by the team based on requests that come through social media and via Viber chat. Denis says that this chat was created to collect requests, but gradually grew into a self-help group, where Kharkiv residents are already helping each other.
During the war, Denis and his team managed to get to know other volunteers. Often they help each other and collaborate. For example, one team prepares hot meals, and Denis’s team delivers them to the destination points. Denis says that it is the unity of people, their sincere willingness to help that inspires him and gives him strength every day.
He recalls how he and his brother planned to flee abroad if the war broke out. And how literally immediately after it had actually happened the intent disappeared. Denis is glad to be in Kharkiv! He also plans to celebrate the victory together with the whole city at a global city dance. He hopes that it happens very soon. After the victory, Denis wants to visit his family without a hassle, and then he plans to start arranging kayaking trips for people. He is sure that nature is what people need for psycho-emotional relief.
Before the War
Fitness trainer in the gym, used to organize hiking trips
Site of Operation