AMBOY — Ukraine has been on a lot of radars since the Russian invasion began.
Whether it was prayers, thoughts, food, funds, or supplies many donations have traveled overseas or virtually to the European nation.
Including from Amboy.
“We sent about $750,000 worth of fire equipment. In United States terms, the equipment was expired because we have statues that we have to follow by age of equipment, not by being worn out,” Amboy Fire District Chief, Jeff Bryant Sr., said. “A lot of the equipment is over 10 years old and can’t be used in the states, but it can be used, and they need it.
“It’s the same with Kiosk Foam. It has to be taken off the market in the U.S., but over there it doesn’t matter. We’re finding a home for foam and equipment that we couldn’t find a home for.”
Finding a home for the equipment and foam (which can’t be dumped and is an expensive cost to dispose of) instead of keeping it in storage was great for Amboy and the other departments who donated items to be taken to Cicero before it is shipped to Poland.
Amboy is the northern Illinois collection station as equipment was brought from fire departments in Peoria, Huntley, Williamsfield, Sheridan, Chadwick, Shannon, and approximately 15 more.
The efforts are under a World War II organization 501c3 for legal and tax purposes.
After sending out the equipment, Bryant Sr. and other chiefs began collecting sleeping bags to send to Ukraine after a bombing on Aug. 24 left many homeless and cold as the Ukrainian winter is coming.
“We’ve collected about 35 sleeping bags so far. A lot of those are going to the border area, like Poland, as some of their supplies were struck on August 24,” Bryant Sr. said.
“Winter is coming and they’re looking to get kids and women off of the ground. The sleeping bags are a little more substantial and will help them.
“It ends up being the right thing to do. We should be donating and helping.”
If you want to help the cause, new and used sleeping bags can be dropped off at the Amboy fire station.
They will be collected, sent to Cicero, and then make their journey overseas to help Ukraine.