HENNEPIN CO., Minn. (WCCO) – Two Minnesotans headed to Poland on Saturday to help with the growing refugee crisis in eastern Europe.
They’re volunteers from the Minneapolis-based Global Humanitarian Organization, Alight.
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Alissa Jordan and Andezu Orionzi arrived at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on a mission and with a U-Haul truck.
Minneapolis @We_Are_Alight volunteers Alissa Jordan and Andezu Orionzi are heading to Poland this afternoon with 15 bags of supplies. They’re joining other relief workers at Medyka, the busiest border crossing in #Poland. More on their mission tonight at 10pm on @WCCO pic.twitter.com/lx3KkkksRL
—Kirsten Mitchell (@Kirsten_TV) March 12, 2022
“There is a heaviness attached to travel like this, but there is also an element of hope,” Orionzi said.
They’re bringing 15 bags of high-demand supplies to the Ukrainian-Poland border to help with the growing refugee crisis.
“We are actually sending some of these medical supplies into Ukraine to those holed up in bomb shelters or to hospitals that need resupplying,” Jordan said.
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The volunteers have a long journey. They’re taking a 13-hour flight through Amsterdam to get to Warsaw, then driving five hours to Medyka, the busiest border crossing in Poland.
“Many of whom are women and children walking for hours and crossing the border, we know we need to keep them warm and safe,” Orionzi said.
They’ll be joining eight other Alight volunteers at the border, who have been there since the end of February. They’ve been handing out thousands of blankets and creating warming tents for the refugees who have to wait hours in the cold before moving to the reception center.
Both women have been on humanitarian missions before but it’ll be their first time in eastern Europe.
“I’m sure it will be challenging but this is our job, this is what we do as humanitarians, and we are really proud to be doing anything we can to support people who are fleeing,” Jordan said.
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Once the two arrive in Poland, Alight will have 10 volunteers from around the world there, including three from Minnesota.