On the front lines: Lakewood woman, son travel to Poland in aid effort | News, Sports, Jobs


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Lakewood resident Sally Naetzker Baer is pictured with her son, Willson. The two are touring to Poland and Ukraine to give aid to all those in will need.

A connection to the Peace Corps and Ukraine has spurred a Lakewood woman and her son to make a vacation to Poland to assistance those people on the defensive.

“I’m a 61-yr-previous lady — I was sort of like this is kind of out of my league,” Sally Naetzker Baer said on Sunday afternoon, the working day before she and her son still left for Poland. “If you are civilians and you are presented a gun, which these boys and guys are in Ukraine, they really do not have any protecting gear.

They do not have any professional medical support kits. They have almost nothing but the gun.”

Naetzker Baer and her son, Willson, resolved they preferred to aid and are touring to Rzeszow, Poland, to support give protective equipment and other requirements to those who are preventing in Ukraine.

Naetzker Baer, who life in Lakewood, was in Ukraine in 1995 in relationship with the Peace Corps. She just lately returned to the space to be close to spouse and children and assisted generate the reward shop that operates inside of of Ashville Basic Keep. Right after Russia invaded Ukraine, she said Peace Corps volunteers from that time received together on Facebook alongside with a man in Ukraine.

Candidates hold out in line at the key passport office environment in Warsaw, Poland, on Monday, March 14, 2022. Russia’s invasion of Poland’s neighbor Ukraine has spurred the Poles to just take excess actions for their safety. On Sunday, a Russian missile strike in western Ukraine, some 15 miles from Poland, killed at the very least 35 people today.

“I achieved out to these two groups indicating generally with all my decades of practical experience, I understood that there was an possibility for me to serve in some way in this problem,” she said. “I just didn’t have any thought what that looked like.”

Naetzker Baer said a handful of weeks ago, the team experienced elevated $50,000 for navy defensive vests that the group has coordinated people today to provide around to Ukraine.

“I had a friend in South Carolina that still left (Saturday) and introduced the initially load,” she explained. “He’s bringing 1,500 pounds subsequent 7 days. That group … has entry to a cargo airplane that can go directly into Lviv, which is essentially where by all of this defensive gear and stuff is funneling by way of and all the refugees are funneling out into Poland. I threw up a Facebook fundraiser and was stunned at the type of help and just the suffering that individuals are feeling about this full scenario.”

Naetzker Baer stated by means of her Peace Corp good friends on Facebook, she networked with a “whole website of individuals in Europe, generally concentrated in Poland.”

“It grew to become definitely distinct that Europe was responding tremendous nicely to this refugee scenario — 40,000 to 50,000 men and women a working day at occasions are heading into Poland, but they have this amazing network, mainly on the internet, by means of ex-pat teams and other companies that have been thrown collectively that disperse these men and women into residences,” she stated. “Oftentimes, governments of the international locations are giving them visas for a certain interval of time and providing them food, insurance policy, SIM cards, primary things like that when they get to the border. It is really an unbelievable party that is occurring there.”

Naetzker Baer explained she teamed up with a pastor from Charlotte, N.C., and a pastor from Irpin, Ukraine, to help produce the armed service protective vests and health-related kits.

“(Irpin) is just a suburb north of Kyiv and it fell to the Russians maybe a week in the past now,” she said. “It’s generally been bombed to obliteration – there is very little left there.”

Naetzker Baer said she has just secured a hotel in Poland, exactly where she strategies to continue to be for a month, but was instructed she could be desired longer. Her son, a photographer, is accompanying her for the length.

“As before long as we get there, they are making an attempt to safe a van that would make it possible for me to transportation the armed service materials and aide into Ukraine,” she reported. “Once in Lviv, (we’ll) give that to our contacts that will carry it to Kyiv, the funds city, and (we’ll) then change all over with refugees and convey them into Poland. (We’ll) fundamentally do that back again and forth in purchase to preserve this things transferring as a result of.”

Her son hopes to seize what is likely on on the ground there in the course of their time in Poland and Ukraine.

With the money she has fundraised, she has ordered $10,000 worthy of of military services equipment however, an anonymous church ended up paying for that gear.

“That obtained paid back again, so the relaxation of the revenue is going immediately into Ukraine and we’re going to start out supplying fuel cash to these fellas that are ferrying gear from Lviv to Kyiv simply because they really do not have funds,” she said. “We’re heading to start out serving to with the gas revenue, and then definitely doing the job with the refugees and invest in gear and stuff there.”

Naetzker Baer is no stranger to delivering global help, getting finished so in Ethiopia, Kazakhstan and Nepal in former years.

“This concept of worldwide vacation or independently just throwing up our fingers and likely somewhere and saying ‘We’ll do it,’ has really been pushed by our religion,” she said. “Every time we have explained indeed. It is been an extraordinary encounter. All those people experiences led to this second.”

Naetzker Baer said she observed the the latest assault on a navy training base around the border of Poland.

“It’s kind of at a level exactly where there is no other selection but to go,” Naetzker reported. “This is not just about Ukraine. … It’s about a a lot much larger point threatening the whole entire world at this level. That is why we’re doing it.”

The Lakewood woman and her son remaining the region on Monday and flew out of Erie, Pa. She believed that they will land in Krakow, Poland today all around noon.

“If you’re not a man or woman of faith, if you could observe the tale unfold, you would be a believer,” she reported. “It’s truly unbelievable what is took place — all the way down to the way you can not come across hotels in Poland proper now … but I found this lodge in close proximity to this city and for whatsoever bizarre motive, it has 4 beds in the area. So this implies that we can now submit a couple of other volunteers in a area with us, which is amazing.”

Naetzker Baer said she will be updating her Fb webpage pertaining to her journey and invites these who are intrigued to observe along by friending her. Her site can be uncovered underneath “Sally Naetzker Baer.” Her fundraiser can also be identified on her Facebook web page.


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