His parents fled the USSR. Now this Brighton man is going to Poland to help Ukraine
Peter Skrypka grew up hearing about his parents escape from the Soviet Union during World War II. They came to Rochester - where he was born - as refugees, and he recalls how they couldn't have made it without the help of strangers.
When Russia invaded Ukraine last year, he found himself reliving that historical moment, and knew he wanted to do something, too.
"It was late last year, watching the genocide in Ukraine and understanding that we really needed to more than just give money, to just send support," Skyrpka says. "We decided that we could actually do this; I could work remotely and volunteer my time throughout the course of the week."
Skrypka expects to be driving vehicles loaded with humanitarian supplies from Poland to the Ukrainian border from May through August. He does not expect to travel into Ukraine as the war rages on.
"Poland has done so much for the Ukrainians, the refugees," he says. "I felt it was important to be on the ground there, being part of the solution."
Crediting his employer for allowing him to work remotely four days a week during his time away, Skrypka said that leaves three days a week for him to volunteer with the organization Ukrainian Action. He plans to document his experience online at www.peterinpoland.com.