LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor was last in Ukraine shortly after the Russian invasion began.
On one of his last stops in Louisville, Taylor toured the operations at the nonprofit, SOS International.
“I was last in Kiev in September of last year during the war,” Taylor told reporters.
Taylor is traveling around the country, speaking about the United States’ support of Ukraine militarily and otherwise. Prior to visiting the Louisville nonprofit, Taylor spoke at the University of Louisville.
Taylor said, “Why the United States? Why people in Louisville and Kentucky and the United States should care about what’s going on in Ukraine.”
Which brings us to his visit to SOS, the Louisville-based nonprofit collects and sends unused medical supplies around the world, to developing nation in times of crisis, natural disasters and in the example of Ukraine, during times of war.
“A really important component of that support comes from the American people and that’s what we’re seeing in this facility, this SOS, nongovernmental organization. It represents the best of America,” Taylor said.
Denise Sears is the Executive Director of SOS.
“We work internationally,” Sears explained.
SOS has been sending thousands of pounds of medical supplies to Ukraine since the onset of the Russian invasion and does so with partners based in Europe.
“We have now sent twelve shipments totally about 1.2 million medical supplies and health related items,” Sears said.
Items sent are far ranging and include tourniquets, hospital beds, stretchers, infusion pumps and oxygen supplies, life-saving equipment that’s being sorted and cataloged every day by volunteers.
“We will continue to serve Ukraine until they have not only complete this devastating period of destruction but on through to being able to help them rebuild,” Sears stated.
It’s a sentiment echoed by the visiting ambassador.
“It represents the American people's desire, our desire to support the Ukrainians.”