This past Saturday, Ukrainians in Davenport were overjoyed when they heard the news of the Crimean Bridge explosion, a big win for Ukraine in its war with Russia. But with Russian forces striking back in the days since, killing dozens of innocent civilians, Ukrainians here in the U.S. can’t keep the war off their minds.

“All of us, we have families, we have relatives which are still in Ukraine, and we cannot just like live our comfortable lives in United States without thinking and supporting them in any possible way we can,” said Taras Slyvka, a man from Dubuque who grew up in Ukraine and has family in Kyiv, the country’s capital city.

That’s why a group of Ukrainian natives in Eastern Iowa are trying to help, by sending supplies back to their home country. Lyuda Lyashenko and Myroslava Goodpaster, two Ukrainian women living in the Quad Cities area, along with Slyvka, founded a nonprofit organization called the Ukrainian Society of Eastern Iowa back on August 24, which was Ukrainian Independence Day.

Complete strangers just months ago, the three Iowa residents and Ukrainian natives found each other this summer through fundraisers they were doing individually.

“Before the war, we didn’t know each other,” Slyvka said. “So we are like three officers of the organization.”

Now raising money for Ukraine as a group, the society held a yard sale in Davenport this past weekend, collecting about $2,000. They’re now using that money to buy winter supplies for the Ukrainian military.

“The cold months are coming up, already actually started, so we are going to purchase thermal underwear and shoes and handwarmers and even some medical supplies too for the soldiers,” Goodpaster said.

“It will bring that warmth to the souls which are fighting for freedom,” Slyvka said.

With a successful fundraiser now under their belts, the group has more planned for later this year and say they want to keep helping as much as they can until the war is won.

“I hope and pray that this war ends soon, but we are prepared to work as much as it will take,” Goodpaster said.