On the front lines: Lakewood woman, son travel to Poland in aid effort | News, Sports, Jobs

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Lakewood resident Sally Naetzker Baer is pictured with her son, Willson. The two are traveling to Poland and Ukraine to deliver help to all those in have to have.

A connection to the Peace Corps and Ukraine has spurred a Lakewood girl and her son to make a excursion to Poland to help these on the defensive.

“I’m a 61-calendar year-previous lady — I was form of like this is kind of out of my league,” Sally Naetzker Baer stated on Sunday afternoon, the working day before she and her son left for Poland. “If you are civilians and you’re offered a gun, which these boys and adult men are in Ukraine, they do not have any protective equipment.

They do not have any healthcare aid kits. They have very little but the gun.”

Naetzker Baer and her son, Willson, resolved they needed to support and are touring to Rzeszow, Poland, to help supply protective gear and other necessities to those people who are combating in Ukraine.

Naetzker Baer, who lives in Lakewood, was in Ukraine in 1995 in link with the Peace Corps. She not long ago returned to the spot to be near to loved ones and aided develop the present shop that operates within of Ashville Typical Store. Immediately after Russia invaded Ukraine, she mentioned Peace Corps volunteers from that time bought together on Facebook along with a guy in Ukraine.

Candidates wait around in line at the major passport place of work in Warsaw, Poland, on Monday, March 14, 2022. Russia’s invasion of Poland’s neighbor Ukraine has spurred the Poles to take more measures for their security. On Sunday, a Russian missile strike in western Ukraine, some 15 miles from Poland, killed at the very least 35 men and women.

“I arrived at out to these two teams indicating in essence with all my many years of expertise, I realized that there was an possibility for me to serve by some means in this predicament,” she said. “I just didn’t have any notion what that seemed like.”

Naetzker Baer said a couple of weeks back, the group experienced raised $50,000 for navy defensive vests that the team has coordinated persons to bring in excess of to Ukraine.

“I had a mate in South Carolina that left (Saturday) and introduced the first load,” she stated. “He’s bringing 1,500 pounds up coming 7 days. That team … has obtain to a cargo aircraft that can go immediately into Lviv, which is mainly where by all of this defensive gear and things is funneling by way of and all the refugees are funneling out into Poland. I threw up a Facebook fundraiser and was stunned at the sort of assistance and just the suffering that people today are sensation about this total situation.”

Naetzker Baer explained by means of her Peace Corp pals on Fb, she networked with a “whole website of men and women in Europe, generally centered in Poland.”

“It became really crystal clear that Europe was responding super nicely to this refugee problem — 40,000 to 50,000 folks a working day at instances are going into Poland, but they have this amazing network, typically on the web, by ex-pat groups and other organizations that have been thrown jointly that disperse these individuals into households,” she claimed. “Oftentimes, governments of the nations are supplying them visas for a selected interval of time and providing them foods, insurance policies, SIM cards, essential issues like that when they get to the border. It’s truly an amazing party that’s going on there.”

Naetzker Baer said she teamed up with a pastor from Charlotte, N.C., and a pastor from Irpin, Ukraine, to assistance supply the navy protective vests and medical kits.

“(Irpin) is just a suburb north of Kyiv and it fell to the Russians it’s possible a 7 days ago now,” she claimed. “It’s mainly been bombed to obliteration – there is practically nothing still left there.”

Naetzker Baer mentioned she has just secured a lodge in Poland, where by she strategies to remain for a thirty day period, but was explained to she could be necessary more time. Her son, a photographer, is accompanying her for the duration.

“As quickly as we get there, they are attempting to protected a van that would let me to transportation the army provides and aide into Ukraine,” she explained. “Once in Lviv, (we’ll) give that to our contacts that will deliver it to Kyiv, the cash city, and (we’ll) then change all around with refugees and bring them into Poland. (We’ll) essentially do that again and forth in order to keep this stuff moving via.”

Her son hopes to capture what is heading on on the floor there for the duration of their time in Poland and Ukraine.

With the revenue she has fundraised, she has acquired $10,000 worthy of of navy gear on the other hand, an nameless church ended up shelling out for that equipment.

“That obtained paid back again, so the rest of the income is heading directly into Ukraine and we’re heading to start out giving gasoline cash to these fellas that are ferrying gear from Lviv to Kyiv due to the fact they really do not have income,” she said. “We’re going to start out aiding with the gas income, and then clearly functioning with the refugees and obtain equipment and stuff there.”

Naetzker Baer is no stranger to offering global aid, acquiring accomplished so in Ethiopia, Kazakhstan and Nepal in past decades.

“This idea of international vacation or independently just throwing up our hands and likely somewhere and expressing ‘We’ll do it,’ has seriously been driven by our religion,” she claimed. “Every time we’ve said sure. It’s been an unbelievable experience. All all those experiences led to this instant.”

Naetzker Baer reported she saw the recent assault on a army teaching base near the border of Poland.

“It’s variety of at a issue where there is no other decision but to go,” Naetzker explained. “This is not just about Ukraine. … It is about a significantly bigger detail threatening the entire world at this level. Which is why we’re undertaking it.”

The Lakewood lady and her son still left the spot on Monday and flew out of Erie, Pa. She estimated that they will land in Krakow, Poland nowadays all around midday.

“If you are not a man or woman of faith, if you could view the story unfold, you would be a believer,” she reported. “It’s actually unbelievable what is occurred — all the way down to the way you just can’t locate inns in Poland proper now … but I found this resort around this town and for what ever strange cause, it has four beds in the home. So this usually means that we can now article a pair of other volunteers in a space with us, which is wonderful.”

Naetzker Baer stated she will be updating her Facebook website page pertaining to her journey and invites people who are fascinated to comply with together by friending her. Her website page can be discovered below “Sally Naetzker Baer.” Her fundraiser can also be discovered on her Fb site.


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