SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Bob the Bike Man is donating way more than bikes these days, he’s gearing up to send thousands of supplies to Poland to help Ukrainian refugees.
Bob the Bike Man Charland told 22News, “It’s exhausting, last week was a seven day week for me but its very rewarding to know that we can help these people once they get into Poland because a lot of these people are leaving with the clothes on their back and maybe a bag.”
It all started because of a volunteer of his who’s Ukrainian, Bob says sending supplies after seeing the devastation is the least he could do, “Most people know me for the bikes but we do the backpacks for the homeless. So with all the supplies we have coming in, I’m like, ‘Okay, we’ll exhaust everything we have here and send it over there.'”
The United Nations high commissioner for refugees says in 10 days, 1.5 million Ukrainians have become refugees, making this the fastest growing refugee crisis since World War Two.
“This is just a small amount of relief for them to have fresh clothes, fresh food. for me its a no-brainer,” said Bob.
In addition to medical supplies and coats, thousands of blankets that an airline donated will be going to Poland. Bob also received 600 new Ralph Lauren coats, $1,600 worth of dry goods, Samsonite backpacks… even the boxes to send these are being donated by A to Z moving. A church in Westfield with many Ukrainian and Russian members will be helping pack the items to send in three shipments to Poland.
“I’m hoping more people will take initiative to help someone from another country,” said Bob.
If you’d like to donate items or help pack the boxes, you can contact Bob at 413-433-9059.