LAKE PLACID — A Lake Placid resident and native of Ukraine is hosting a food and merchandise drive to help those affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Dmitry Feld, USA Luge Marketing Manager, in Kyiv, Ukraine, with help from the Lake Placid community, has already dispatched at least eight expedition trucks with 200,000 pounds of supplies to people fleeing and fighting for freedom in Ukraine. Feld is now partnering with Lake Placid Central School District and two Ukrainian brothers from “Dancing with the Stars” send non-perishable food and supplies to one warehouse in Poland and two warehouses in Ukraine.
Feld said he was watching CNN recently when he saw an interview with Maksim Chmerkovskiy, from Odessa, Ukraine, and “Dancing with the Stars” competitor.
Chmerkovskiy was in kyiv when war broke out in February. He told CNN he felt bad about leaving Ukraine, but was told to seek safety in the United States immediately after the Russian invasion. He always wanted to help his country in some way, so he and his family started a charity called Baranova27, named after the address of his childhood home. Feld said he was in touch with Chmerkovskiy and his brother Valentin, who Feld said responded enthusiastically after hearing he wanted to send in articles from Lake Placid.
Baranova27 is based in New Jersey. Feld said he would haul donations from Lake Placid in as many U-Hauls as it takes to carry the load.
“More is better,” he said.
what to give
People can donate the following items to the Ukraine Campaign, located at USA Luge headquarters, by May 16:
¯ Medical items, including gauze; CPR masks; respiratory tubing; stitches; burn/bleed control kits (Celox granules); tourniquets; medical tape; splints; analgesic; antibiotic ointment; and anti-diarrhoea/heartburn medicine
¯ Items for soldiers (in dark colors only), including thermal clothing and long socks; tactical gear and equipment; ready meals; new sleeping bags; camping mats; tents; bulletproof vests; and gear like drones, UV flashlights, and walkie-talkies
¯ Childcare items that are not packaged in glass, such as powdered formula; Pedialyte powder; baby food pouches; dry snacks; baby bottles and pacifiers; ointment for diaper rash; and onesies and thermal diapers
¯ Non-perishable food items, such as protein bars; powdered electrolytes; disposable plates and crockery; vitamins; and sweets
¯ New unopened hygiene products, such as eye drops; toothbrushes and toothpaste; cough and flu medicines; travel toiletries; Nail clippers; and feminine and incontinence products
¯New clothing for adults, such as plain t-shirts; oversized zip hoodies; flip flops and Crocs; pajama pants; and fleece blankets.
Donations must be wrapped, labeled and dropped off at USA Luge, 57 Church Street in Lake Placid, by May 16. Feld said the boxes should weigh no more than 15 or 20 pounds. People with questions can contact Feld at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations are also being accepted at North Elba City Hall and Lake Placid Central School District schools through May 16.
LPCSD Superintendent Timothy Seymour said he emailed some superintendents and officials around the Tri-Lakes last week to see if they would be interested in expanding the campaign to outlying school districts. Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES District Superintendent Dale Breault said Monday that the Adirondack Education Center in Saranac Lake will serve as an additional collection point for the drive.
“I think we will have a fairly broad base of participation when all is said and done,” said Seymour.
Feld said he wanted to call the reader from Ukraine “Operation SPAM” to communicate the need for non-perishable foods, but he thought the name “could spoil young children because they might think SPAM is computer spam.”
The Great Depression fueled the creation of the non-perishable pork product, which fed American troops during World War II, according to Hormel Foods.
Feld said canned meatloaf could now feed fighters in Ukraine. He said the country cannot produce much food while people are in the throes of war. Feld has already launched Operation SPAM; he said he bought about five or seven cases of spam boxes.
“That’s a fair amount of SPAM out there,” he said.
Feld encouraged people to buy and donate similar non-perishable foods to the drive.