Pittsburghers, local businesses working to help Ukraine war refugees

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburghers always come to the table whether it’s here at home or abroad when it comes to a crisis.

“I was just on my way over here and I saw a yard sign reminding us of everything that Fred Rogers taught and believed in, so it just seemed like the thing that Pittsburghers would gravitate toward, and I wanted to be part of it,” said Doug Penhallegon.

We ran into Penhallegon at Biddle’s Escape in Wilkinsburg. He came to their bake sale to donate to the people of Ukraine.

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“The war just seems so one-sided. It seems so wrong for Russia to attack Ukraine on the way that they are, and it offended me as a human being,” said Penhallegon.

“We could not be more appreciative of how Pittsburgh comes together to help others,” said Ozzy Samad.

Samad is the president of the Brother’s Brother Foundation. He tells Channel 11 they’re partnering with different groups on the ground to support mobile medical units in Ukraine. They’re planning to fly medical supplies into Poland to help people injured from fighting Russia in Ukraine.

“The second is that we have a needs list that we have received from the U.S. Embassy very close to the situation, and we’re acquiring mostly medical supplies related to wound care,” said Samad.

He says they’ve received more than 150 separate financial donations since last night and they still need more. He says while they’re getting ready to help people in Ukraine, they’re also helping people affected by disasters in Kentucky, Haiti and Africa.

“Experienced Disaster Relief Charities are always going to be the best bet to help deliver that aid as quickly as possible,” said Western Pennsylvania Better Business Bureau representative Caitlin Driscoll.

Driscoll says those looking to donate should make sure the charity can deliver the goods or services to those in need.

She also tells Channel 11 people should avoid crowdfunding services and make sure the relief charity is in good standing with the BBB.

CLICK HERE for more information if you’d like to donate.