Local Ukrainian native collecting donations and supplies for war-torn country

[Submitted photo]

Anastassiia Forlano of Southern Shores attended the recent Democratic Women of Dare to pick up donations to be sent to Ukraine.

Forlano is working to gather up a long list of supplies needed in the war-torn country where she was born. She came to the Outer Banks about 10 years ago as a J-1 worker and remained after marrying Ron Forlano.

“There are so many needs and it will take everyone to help to get what they need and to send it to them,” said Forlano.

She is working with the Tidewater Ukrainian School in Virginia Beach. The list includes basics like feminine hygiene products, socks, nonperishable food items, medical gear and medicines, combat boots and much more.

The Democratic Women of Dare collected about 100 pounds at the meeting and is still accepting donations at the home of DWOD secretary Laura Allendorf at 307 Sir Walter Raleigh Drive in Manteo.

All items collected on the Outer Banks will be sent to the Tidewater Ukrainian School which will ship it to New Jersey and then to Poland for distribution there and in Ukraine.

For those who would rather donate money, there is a large need to pay for the shipping. Forlano said that the school recently sent 200 boxes and the cost was $9,000. Money can be donated using PayPal and Venmo.

“Centura Hospitals just donated a large amount of medical supplies,” said Forlano. Hospitals there are treating soldiers, civilians and the Russian soldiers captured who need medical help.

This weekend, donations will be accepted in Nags Head at Dowdy Park during the vigil beginning at 7 p.m. Friday night. And on Saturday, The Grand Pollada Fundraiser will be held at 2018 Hampton St. in Kill Devil Hills beginning at 10 a.m. until the food is gone! All proceeds will be donated to help with shipping and other costs. Other donations also will be accepted there. 

Kitty Hawk Baptist Church is accepting donations on Tuesday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Wednesday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; and Thursday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

To contact the Ukrainian School, go to tidewaterua.org.

In addition to her work to try to get aid to her country, Forlano also has been working on trying to get Visas for her mother, aunt and cousins. Because she was a day late, it appears the first hearing won’t be set before August or September.

She is remaining optimistic about her family that is still in Ukraine. “I think that they are pretty safe,” she said. “The only bomb near them was at an airport some miles away.’’

They are in the northwestern part of the country.

Boxes of donations awaiting shipment to the war-torn country of Ukraine [Submitted photo]