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San Diego donations head for front lines after arriving in Ukraine

San Diego donations arrive in Ukraine, headed for front lines
Posted at 4:35 PM, Apr 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-01 20:18:08-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Donations of medical and other supplies from the San Diego area have arrived in Ukraine and are bound for the front lines.

ABC 10News caught up with Jonathan Brook on March 21 before he boarded a flight with duffel bags in tow, filled with field medical supplies and protective gear collected by the House of Ukraine.

Brook, an international videographer focusing on humanitarian efforts, was hoping to bring supplies into Ukraine and help his in-laws escape Kyiv.

After landing in Poland, he met up with volunteers from a Polish-Ukrainian nonprofit, heading into Ukraine with their own supplies.

Eight hours later, they were in the country. They would end up in Lviv in western Ukraine. Over a two-day span, Brook would distribute nine large duffel bags.

In one meeting, two Ukrainian military personnel showed up at the apartment he is staying at and collected one of the bags, which is now bound for battered Mariupol.

“Thank you. Thank you,” they can be heard saying in the video Brook recorded, as they took the bags and flashed a thumbs-up.

“As appreciative as they are and excited to see the stuff, the mood is very somber. It’s a very serious expression of gratitude,” said Brook.

Brook delivered four of the bags to a military hospital in Lviv. As he was waiting outside the entrance, he heard explosions.

"We heard a boom followed six seconds later by another big boom. A minute passed and another boom,” said Brook.

He shot video of billowing smoke from a rocket blast that ignited a fuel depot, about three miles away.

“Nobody is taking things lightly, but everybody is out doing their best, doing their duty, and putting to the back of their mind the potential danger we personally face,” said Brook.

Eventually, several people emerged from the hospital and collected the supplies.

“They were really surprised that we would send this all the way from San Diego and that the San Diego community would care so much about them … Wanted to shake hands. So appreciative … It is an emotional moment for them because they know this stuff will be instrumental in saving the people,” said Brook. “I was sure to tell them this was San Diego banning together to help.”

Brook is still working on arranging a ride for his in-laws from Kyiv to where he's staying.

He still has one last bag remaining to hand out, which includes both medical supplies and protective gear.