Jefferson County couple visits Ukraine to provide supplies

Published: Aug. 26, 2022 at 10:44 PM CDT
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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - A local couple went to Ukraine last week to provide some relief by donating supplies and money.

August 24 marked six months since Russia invaded Ukraine and the war continues. The Holmes family says on that very day, the area they were visiting was bombed.

“We left Irpin on Monday and it was hit on Wednesday so more bombs hit that same city that we were in,” said Hollie Holmes.

While Hollie and Ricky Holmes live in Pinson, their hearts are with Ukraine right now.

Hollie says in 2007, she attended her first mission trip to Ukraine and became best friends with her interpreter. The rest is history. They started hosting orphans in 2008 and adopted three siblings in 2009, in addition to their four biological children. They also started a camp for orphans in Ukraine.

Their connections to the country run deep so Hollie says she’s been helping since the war started.

“So many people were raped and killed in Bucha and Irpin and so that was the city we took most of the supplies to,” she added.

They brought clothes, shoes, school supplies, food, and much more in eight different suitcases.

“Every bag was at least 50 pounds,” said Ricky. “One of the favorite things we took for them was antibiotic ointment and Advil because they don’t have it.”

They distributed the supplies while visiting ‘Ground Zero.’

“We went through Irpin,” said Hollie. “70% of the houses are destroyed. We walk into this one apartment building and when we come out, we’re talking to our friend and he tells us there are still bodies in the apartment building because they’ve not had time to get the out. They drove us to a car graveyard, which they’ve moved off a lot of the cars, but literally, the Russians would get at a high point and they would just shoot families trying to leave the city: mothers, kids, everything.”

“They would just be shooting out into communities, not at soldiers,” said Ricky. “There were numerous cars on the side of the road that were just shot up.”

They want people to know right now that the war isn’t over.

“They are just people struggling for the right to have their country free,” said Hollie. “Please keep praying for them.”

They plan to return again to Ukraine to continue helping. If you feel led to donate, they have a GoFundMe set up but what they are really asking for is prayers for the Ukrainian people.

In the GoFundMe description, it reads: “We have been going on missions trips since 2008 helping in orphanages, camps, villages, and cities. On these visits we have developed relationships with other believers who have become our ministry partners. We will send 100% of the money received to our ministry partners. Donations will go towards food, shelter, and transportation. Please pray for peace, protection, provision and wisdom! Thank you for praying and giving. To God be the glory!”

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