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Twin Falls man shuttling Ukrainian refugees to safety

Rob Sturgill, his brother and several other volunteers with Type of Wood Charities rented three large vans to shuttle refugees out of the country.

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — A Twin Falls man has been in Ukraine since Sunday, March 13, helping shuttle Ukrainian refugees to safe locations.

Rob Sturgill, his brother and several other volunteers with Type of Wood Charities rented three large vans to shuttle refugees out of the country.

When KTVB spoke with Sturgill, he and his brother were traveling with a large family headed to stay with another family in Poland, leaving their fathers and husbands behind.

"These ladies had to leave, because their home was being bombed. They had to flee to safety,” Sturgill said. “Their husbands are left behind, so I think right now, they have got a big worry of what's going on and if they will see their husbands again."

According to Sturgill, there are check points at the Polish borders making sure no adult men are traveling out of the country, so that they can stay to fight in Ukraine.

“To see the thousands of women and children that have been displaced by the situation, it's heartbreaking," Sturgill said. “You can see there is just a great resiliency and they're trying to hang onto hope and then there's others that they're devastated. They are just devastated of what's going on in their country and their home. Their livelihoods. Their homes are being destroyed. They are being bombed out."

Since the group landed, they have shuttled around 60 refugees to safety by using three different vans. While Sturgill knows he is making an impact, he said the most heartbreaking thing is knowing that he will not be able to help every single refugee. 

The journey for many can be physically and mentally exhausting for the volunteers, but the need is great.

“You go go, and about at the end of the day, you get to your motel room and you just got to let it all out," Sturgill said. "You just got to let it out, because the next day, you got to start up and do it again."

According to Sturgill, all volunteers with the charity pay for their own flights and motels to stay in. 100% of the proceeds and donations raised go to helping Ukrainian refugees find safety.

To donate to Type of Wood Charities, click here.

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