Spirit of America, a citizen-funded nonprofit providing a range of protective equipment and supplies to Ukrainian soldiers and civilian volunteers, announced that it delivered nine 50-passenger MAN buses to the citizen-soldiers of Ukraine’s Territory Defense Forces (TDF) and has committed to deliver 375 advanced trauma kits, all secured through funding support provided by the Howard G. Buffett Foundation, an Illinois-based private family foundation.
The TDF will deploy the nine buses into three groups to regional headquarters in the Western, Central, and Southern regions of Ukraine. The buses will be used to bring Territorial Defense Forces civilian volunteers to front line positions where they will have the greatest impact on protecting civilians, saving lives, and winning the peace in Ukraine. The buses will also bring out to safety civilians, the wounded, and other Ukrainians in need.
The Buffett Foundation’s support will also fund 375 advanced trauma kits for Ukrainians on the front lines. These trauma kits provide a collapsible combat field transport litter with straps and fasteners to stabilize and transport the injured while limiting the risk to Ukrainian medical teams.
On May 18th, 2022, Spirit of America delivered nearly 39 tons – over 77,000 pounds – of critically needed bulletproof vests, ballistic helmets, first aid kits, and trauma kits to Ukrainian soldiers operating in the Eastern war zone of the country. That shipment marked the fourth cargo plane of citizen-funded aid provided by Spirit of America from the United States to Ukraine since the war began in February. To date, Spirit of America has delivered nearly 155 tons, representing $20.8 millions of assistance directly to soldiers in need.
“Spirit of America has been supporting Ukraine’s freedom and security since 2014. Immediately after Russia launched the current war, we began working closely with our U.S. and Ukrainian partners to deliver lifesaving aid and equipment when and where it’s needed most. We are very grateful to the Howard G. Buffett Foundation for their support to allow these buses and trauma kits to be acquired and deployed quickly to the points of greatest need.” – Jim Hake, Spirit of America Chief Executive Officer.
Established in 1999, The Howard G. Buffett Foundation’s mission is to catalyze transformational change, particularly for the world’s most impoverished and marginalized populations and in the most difficult circumstances and geographies.
“We focus our funding on food security and conflict mitigation because peace is a fundamental building block to any level of human survival and prosperity,” said Howard G. Buffett, Chairman and CEO of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. “The unprovoked war in Ukraine is the starkest example of this truth in my lifetime – millions of people have lost everything and are now destitute. The war has destroyed critical supply chains of basic grains, leaving millions of people as far away as Africa and the Middle East hungry and starving. It is essential that donors and nations come together to provide the necessary humanitarian relief but also to find a way to end this conflict and the devastation it is creating for so many innocent civilians.”
Spirit of America, founded in 2003, is the only nonprofit recognized by Congress and approved by the Department of Defense to work alongside troops in the field. Funded through contributions of American citizens, Spirit of America operates an integrated network of civilian and military partners that allows aid to be in the hands of those who need it quickly, efficiently, and effectively. This unique public-private partnership combines what citizens can deliver – ingenuity, entrepreneurship, and generosity – with what our troops and diplomats on the front lines can do, enabling greater impact and better results. Spirit of America has raised $22 million since the start of the war to fund their assistance work in Ukraine.