AMERICAN FORK, Utah (ABC4) – A local Ukrainian woman is teaming up with a portable energy company in American Fork to send over $350,000 worth of energy storage systems and generators to the war-battered country.
She says it’s one of the critical needs of the people there living in bunkers with no access to power.
Svitlana Miller, tells ABC4 she can hear see the Russian bomb strikes happening while talking to her grandmother.
Through her organization To Ukraine with Love, she’s been able to raise funds to get aid to her homeland.
But it was not cheap.
Luckily, she’s been able to connect with the folks at Lion Energy in American Fork to ship out the critical aid. Miller says this shipment of portable energy sources and generators is crucial to people on the ground in Ukraine without any lights, or power sources to connect with family here in the United States.
Born in the Ukraine capital of Kiev, Miller says she’s working with government agencies on the ground there to determine what’s needed and how to safely get it there she says “the one needed item on the Ukrainian government’s list right now is solar power generators.”
Miller also still has family who is trying to survive while the vicious attacks are happening like her grandmother who says is up and age and is unable to seek shelter in the bunker, so she’s remained in her home apartment. Miller worries constantly about her “my kids are eating lunch and it’s peaceful and you look back at your phone and see what’s happening to my family on the other side of the ocean and trying to deal with the two realities” Miller tells ABC4 reporter Curtis Booker.
In some ways, Miller says she feels helpless “so every time we talk to my grandmother, she says goodbye because it might be the last time.”
Miller has also been unsuccessful at contacting her father who is just outside of Kiev, she hopes he’s still alive “the phones are disconnected there, and we have no way of knowing where he is and we have not been able to reach him and I don’t know if I’ll ever see him again,” explains Miller.
The Utah County-based Lion Energy is generously donating nearly $400,000 worth of energy storage systems and power-generating accessories to To Ukraine With Love.
These products will include Lion’s 3 LED Light Bulb String, their smallest portable power generator, the Lion Cub Go, and their portable solar generator, the Lion Safari LT.
Frank Davis, CEO of Lion Energy says “I just wanted to help.”
Davis says he was connected to Svitlana Miller, by an old friend of Davis who had met over twenty years ago while serving as a missionary in Ukraine.
Miller has been receiving heartbreaking updates from her grandmother and other family members and friends still in Ukraine. Desperate to help, she founded To Ukraine with Love, collecting everything from first aid kits to walkie-talkies and drones.
Miller says she has encountered many people who have expressed an interest in helping, but she advises to people to donate responsibly and in a way that actually makes it to the Ukrainian people in a timely matter, as people are dying rapidly, and the aid is needed immediately.
Miller says she and her husband have connected with an organization that claims they can get the shipment out and on the road by Saturday. The aid would be driven to Chicago where it will be loaded onto a plane and flown to Poland and driven across the border into Ukraine.
The cost she says for the shipment is well over $100,000 which covers fuel and other costs.
For those that would like to help Miller invites people to visit www.toukrainewithlove.org