COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been going on for about eight months, with some of the latest attacks including deadly drone strikes which hit Ukraine’s capital Kyiv on Monday.
A couple of Ohio musicians are on their way to Eastern Europe to help Ukrainians.
Benya Stewart and Brett Hill have been performing a series of benefit concerts across Ohio, raising tens of thousands of dollars to get medical supplies for Ukrainian soldiers. Now they are just a couple of days away from delivering those supplies.
From the stage to the skies to on the ground in Europe, Stewart and Hill, as part of their relief effort From Ohio, With Love, will soon be giving much-needed supplies to Ukrainian soldiers.
“I think we both have a distinct feeling of being on a path and we just feel led to be doing this right now,” Stewart said.
The pair left Monday on a flight to Warsaw, Poland. From there, they’ll make the trip to Kyiv.
“Our whole goal is to keep people alive,” Hill said. “We want to stop people from dying on a battlefield and I think we can better show that and show that desire to help by physically going and taking these supplies to hand them directly to who they need to go to.”
The pair has been playing with musicians for about three years. Some of them are now on the front lines. They also have friends from Ohio University who are distributing medical supplies. That’s who they’ll be working with on this trip.
Hill and Stewart have been playing benefit concerts for their effort called From Ohio, With Love. With the almost $30,000 raised since the end of June, they’ve been able to get six duffle bags worth of tourniquets, bleed control kits, and other supplies they’ll be helping deliver to soldiers.
“Been over 230 days since the beginning of war, so there’s just, it seems to maybe be a lot of war fatigue for a lot of folks, but it’s why we got to,” Hill said. “It’s why it’s more important than ever to keep this going, make sure people know we’re not going anywhere.”
They’ll also be giving an Ohio flag to soldiers. It’s signed by those who have supported the cause.
“To be able to present this flag to a battalion, might want to know there’s a big state of people that love them far away across the sea,” Hill said.
The duo, who play some Ukrainian music at their shows, said they’ll be learning more about Ukrainian culture and music while there.