LP Ukraine Family Relief

The LP Ukraine team at the holiday party in Ivano Frankivsk, Ukraine in December 2021

LP Ukraine Family Relief

A few words from Logistics Plus

Logistics Plus employs about 50 people in Ukraine. Most of them are under the age of 35.

For a while many thought the invasion wouldn't happen, and then they thought it would happen mostly in the eastern part of the country.

But now with Kyiv being bombarded, the feeling has changed. Logistics Plus employees could hear explosions from their offices since Wednesday night.

This fund will provide our colleagues in Ukraine support for any of their needs during this time of war.

Updates (25)

  • Aleksandra Kenig Managing Director of Logistics PlusPoland

    A Message From LP Poland

    We are calling on our friends all over the world to help continue supporting Ukraine.

    LP Poland is currently working to raise funds for a shelter for refugee women and children who are evacuating Kharkov, Kherson, Mariupol, and other occupied regions. This Soviet-era shelter houses 16 women and 34 children.

    They are in desperate need of household goods, toiletries, children’s items, and other humanitarian aid.

    “We are praying for peace, for our defenders, as well as for volunteers and benefactors who help us survive. Thank you in advance for your help. May God protect Ukraine and everyone. Together we are invincible!” -LP Poland

  • Gretchen Seth Sr. VP, International at Logistics Plus

    The story continues...

    Hi all,

    I am back in Erie and I have some happy news: today a full 40’ hi-cube container of humanitarian aid worth over $100,000 was loaded and shipped from the Erie Times-News warehouse!

    It will go directly from Erie to New York, then sail to Gdynia. From there it will travel by truck to our our sister-city friends in Lublin, Poland. Our warehouse staff was on hand to watch it leave!

    This donation effort was led by Rep. Bob Merski, and supported by our local Polish clubs as well as other Erieites.

    We hope this is the first of several containers we will ship to Lublin, to support the over 30,000 Ukrainian refugees now living there.

    Thanks to all for your continuing support. The need grows greater every day, and your donations WILL make a difference!

    Thanks,

    G

  • Gretchen Seth Sr. VP, International at Logistics Plus

    Gretchen’s final report

    I am passing through Germany on my way back to the USA, and everywhere there are messages of support for Ukraine: flags are hanging from highway overpasses, digital sign boards display messages of solidarity, people are wearing yellow and blue ribbons.

    Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your wishes, prayers and emails during this journey. We hope you will continue your support in the weeks and months ahead.

    Thank you,

    Gretchen, Inna, Ola, Pawel, Mykola and Illya

  • Gretchen Seth Sr. VP, International at Logistics Plus

    Gretchen’s report from Poland - Day 4

    Reunion day

    The past few weeks have been challenging for our Ukraine team members as they made their way into Poland, some with family members and pets.

    Last night I had the privilege of meeting five of our travelers in person. We gave them LP t-shirts which they immediately put on - they loved them!

    They are all settled into their apartment, working remotely and continuing to keep things moving for Project Cargo, CSI, Siemens and numerous others. Girl power! 💪

    Our Rzeszow office has been supported by longtime LP employee Illya Samko, and by our newest team member, Mykola Kosenko. Together they are doing great things for Ukraine, acquiring vital equipment and raising funds for more. Here is the whole gang at a group dinner last night.

    Thank you for all the encouraging emails and texts. They really matter to all of us!

    G

  • Gretchen Seth Sr. VP, International at Logistics Plus

    Gretchen’s report from Poland - Day 3

    GRASSROOTS. That is the word for much of what is happening here. Many people, doing many very small things, are making a huge difference:

    A Ukrainian retiree, working with funds from a Canadian credit union, bought a generator and some supplies, put them in his personal car and drove them into Ukraine.

    A woman from Asheville NY arrived two weeks ago and has already made a dozen trips to/from Ukraine, ferrying supplies and refugees, securing housing and procuring needed items for over 50 individuals.

    An academic from the University of Oregon rerouted from his vacation in Paris to help at the border for a month.

    None of these people are associated with any organization. They came without a plan, and are now busy morning to night, supporting people they don’t know, in a country most people are currently avoiding.

    I am reassured by my Ukrainian friends that their efforts are having a positive impact on the resolve of the Ukrainian people.

    I am grateful to these anonymous, generous heroes. They give me hope.

    Gretchen Seth

  • Gretchen Seth Sr. VP, International at Logistics Plus

    Gretchen’s report from Poland - Day 2

    Today we made our way to two border crossing points: Korczowa and Medyka. Words cannot adequately describe what we saw there, but I will try!

    Korczowa is well organized, with an immense refugee center, and buses leaving hourly to multiple cities. We were “escorted” by special police (Polish FBI) when they saw our cameras but they were very polite and told us all about the center and auxiliary housing tents there.

    Medyka is more chaotic, and the sheer number of volunteers there is incredible: we saw people from Spain, India, Germany, Norway, Israel, Taiwan, USA, Canada, Holland, Austria and Ukraine.

    This is the automobile crossing point.

    This is the pedestrian crossing point. It was pretty calm today, but two weeks ago there were tens of thousands of people here!

    We helped these guys load shopping carts full of supplies and rolled them through the dirt to the pedestrian border road. Vans were waiting on the other side to take them to Kyiv.

    Many volunteers were not affiliated with any group; they just showed up to help. We met three young guys from Alaska, Arizona and even Elmira, NY!

    We met a German doctor who is using his month-long vacation to shuttle medical supplies to a hospital in Lviv.

    From where we stood, it is plain to see that the WORLD is supporting Ukraine!

  • Gretchen Seth Sr. VP, International at Logistics Plus

    Gretchen’s report from Poland - Day 1

    Hi all,

    Greetings from Lublin, our sister city in Poland! We traveled here today from Rzeszow to meet with the deputy marshal of the Voivodeship of Lublin (equivalent to our Lt. Governor).

    We received the warmest reception from Marshal Wojciechowski and his staff.

    Inna, our new project manager from Ukraine, me, the Marshal, his staff member Izabel, Rachel of Erie News Now

    They told us about their efforts to help the Ukrainians arriving there, and showed us their office building which has been repurposed into housing and a supplies warehouse.

    We toured the Lublin Cultural Center which has also made living space for families, and has set up a play center for moms and kids, with books in Ukrainian. But the staff says the language doesn’t matter - the kids find ways to communicate.

    The train station has set up a medical center trackside, and used every inch of available office space for accommodations for passengers connecting through Lublin to other points, in Poland and beyond.

    We met many volunteers, and every one of them was so excited to be able to help (reminded me so much of LP!). There were many tears as they described what they have seen, mixed with smiles as they told us with pride of their contributions.

    The Marshal got very emotional (I did too!) when thanking Erie for all our efforts, and reminded us that more is needed!

    Please know that anything you contribute will go directly to Ukraine relief. Thank you!

    G

  • Gretchen Seth Sr. VP, International at Logistics Plus

    Gretchen’s Tuesday report

    Hi all,

    We are getting some good exposure in Erie for our fund raising efforts and relief supplies collections. Local media is happy to spread the word that we are accepting items at the Erie Times-News Building.

    As mentioned earlier, Rep. Bob Merski is leading an effort to collect items at Erie’s many social clubs, to be sent to Lublin, Erie’s sister city in Poland. Lublin has welcomed over 30,000 refugees from Ukraine.

    Rep. Merski was kind enough to connect us with several Lublin officials, and I hope to meet them this week during my visit in Poland. I am joined here by Rachel Knapp and Brian Schnieders of Lilly Broadcasting, who are gathering stories for a series of reports on the Ukraine war, to be aired in April. More on that later.

    Thanks,

    G

  • Gretchen Seth Sr. VP, International at Logistics Plus

    Gretchen’s week end report

    Hi all,

    Another good week: we have connected with our sister city of Lublin in Poland, and we are working with Rep. Bob Merski and Mayor Joe Schember and are now collecting needed items for Ukrainian refugees to send there. We will be accepting donations at the Erie Times-News building from Monday-Friday from 8am to 5pm, and any other time by appointment. We already have a good supply of blankets, clothing and household items, but much more is needed. Thanks as always for your support!

    A big thank you to ROMOLO’S for the large donation of foil wrapped chocolate hearts, a very sweet gesture! 😊 I intend to deliver them personally to our folks in Poland as I head there this coming week.

    Please keep your donations coming, and keep all our colleagues in your thoughts and prayers!

    G

    PS--please see the first picture from our new warehouse in Rzeszow, Poland to support these efforts.

  • Gretchen Seth Sr. VP, International at Logistics Plus

    Gretchen’s Wednesday report

    Hi all,

    I am happy to report that we have brought another Ukraine employee safely to Poland, and she is already settled into housing.

    In other good news, our relief fund has now exceeded US$637,000. What an amazing achievement! Please keep the donations coming, as we have lots of good uses for the funds--helping out on both sides of the border.

    We made up some nice Ukraine t-shirts for our employees, so we decided to gather for a group message of solidarity this morning. Here is the video – don’t blink or you will miss it 😊 https://www.tiktok.com/@logisticsplus/video/7075716436165004590

    I will be heading to Poland next week to visit our newly arrived teammates in Poland, and bring messages of encouragement to all those remaining in Ukraine. I will try my best to convey the magnitude of the feelings expressed by all of LP and our friends and customers throughout the world. Your support means the world to us. Slave Ukrayini!

    G

  • Gretchen Seth Sr. VP, International at Logistics Plus

    Gretchen’s Saturday report

    Hi all,

    LP Ukraine has been supported by multiple LP offices worldwide, with everything from cash donations to personal assistance at the borders. Today we would like to give a big shoutout to our LP Germany partner, Carl Polzin. Together with one of their customers, they gathered and shipped a full truckload of supplies to the Romania-Ukraine border (see photo and story below.) Included were canned goods, snacks and masks which were collected on very short notice. What a terrific effort! As they said, it is nice to see how we all stand together with Ukraine.

    Thank you LP Germany project team and Carl Polzin!

    G

  • Gretchen Seth Sr. VP, International at Logistics Plus

    Gretchen’s Wednesday update

    Hi all,

    We continue to see support for Ukraine from friends and associates all over the world. Just yesterday, we received word that our friends and warehouse partner in the UK, Xpand Logistics, successfully delivered a full 40’ trailer of diabetic meds to Lviv, Ukraine. A lot of the meds were packed in shoe boxes and hand delivered to individuals by a relay system.

    They are collecting a small shipment of insulin, and they plan to ship an additional 13 x 40’ trailers of diabetic meds this week.

    We don’t often consider all the things that are disrupted by this crisis. This is yet another example of the generosity and compassion of our extended LP family. Thank you, Xpand!

    G

  • Gretchen Seth Sr. VP, International at Logistics Plus

    Gretchen’s Tuesday update

    Hi all,

    Since yesterday, another young employee, her mom and her 3-month old baby crossed the border from Ukraine to Slovakia and made their way to Poland, where Ola and her parents welcomed them into their home. This makes a total of fourteen people who have been successfully relocated and settled, during a time when nearly a million Ukrainians are leaving the country. It has been challenging to find housing, but our Poland team is amazing!

    Speaking of amazing, please take the time to watch this. What a moving example of one person, doing what he can do. There have been many stories like this in recent weeks. It restores my faith in humanity!

    MSNBC Video

    Take care,

    G

  • Gretchen Seth Sr. VP, International at Logistics Plus

    Gretchen’s Monday report

    Hello all,

    We are happy to report that Irina and two family members have finally arrived in Poland, at 2:30am local time, after nearly 40 hours at the border. They are safe in a hotel, and will be moved to longer-term accommodations soon.

    At this moment we have no one else in transit, so we are focusing on getting relief and medical supplies to anyone who needs them. LP Germany is helping with this effort, along with other LP global offices. Your contributions will help us to purchase whatever we can in-region, and ship things that are in short supply there. Thank you!

    Also, I know the news stories always refer to Ukraine as “the size of Texas”. But many of us don’t know how truly BIG Texas is. I thought this might give everyone a clearer picture of just how big a country Ukraine is.

    G

  • Gretchen Seth Sr. VP, International at Logistics Plus

    Gretchen’s Sunday report

    Hello all,

    Today a prayer service in support of our local Ukrainian community was held in Erie’s central park, in front of the City Hall. Several LP Erie employees and friends attended.

    Shown are Ca Seng Mak, Julie Moore, Francisco Reyes, friend and donor Laura Schaaf, Gretchen Seth, Julie Slomski, Natalya Voyetz (Vlad Yakunin’s mom), Pat O’Neil and Oscar! (Gib Loesel left before the photo was taken.)

    Our mayor, Joe Schember, (in the above photo) pointed up to his office on the fourth floor of City Hall. He held up a Ukrainian flag, and told everyone that he would put it in his office window until this crisis is over. He asked me to send his best wishes to all of our LP Ukraine team members!

    There were songs and hymns. There were passionate speeches and beautiful prayers.

    One of the speakers told a favorite story of mine, about a little girl picking up starfish from the beach and throwing them back into the ocean so they would not die. A man watching her said, “why are you doing that? Can’t you see there are thousands of starfish on the beach? You can’t save all of them.” The little girl picked up another starfish, threw it into the ocean and said, “maybe not, but I just saved that one!” Please don’t stop praying and donating to our friends. All of our small efforts will add up to a big impact. Ukraine may be far away, but the Ukrainian people are right here in our hearts!

    Thank you,

    G

  • Gretchen Seth Sr. VP, International at Logistics Plus

    Gretchen’s Friday report

    Hi all,

    There was no report yesterday, as we have been busy with coordination efforts. Going forward, I will report periodically if not daily.

    We continue to report good news: the young woman we mentioned on Wednesday crossed the border safely and is now in Rseszow, in an apartment with her mom and her dog, Archibald. They are resting today after their long journey. The first three teammates who crossed last weekend are settling into their new apartment, and are already cooking Ukrainian specialties for their Polish hosts!

    A big shout out to Moustafa Elhadary and Brendan Burbules, who created our fundraising page in a matter of hours over last weekend. From Moustafa: “Jim sent me an email Saturday Feb 26 around noon asking if we can setup a website to collect funds. I looked into it with Brendan and for various reasons realized the only way to do it was to code and build a site from scratch. So I started coding around 8PM and by 3:43AM the site was live and ready to go. At 4:23AM Sunday morning Jim sent out the email to everyone and funds instantaneously started coming through”. All in a day’s (or night’s!) work for our amazing IT professionals. Thank you both!

    Donations continue to come in, including $10,000 from some friends in Erie, and $25,000 from one of LP’s larger customers, raising the total to nearly $575,000. In all, there have been over 250 individual donations so far, and they are making a tremendous difference. Thank you!

    Our Ukraine team supports multiple LP customers, one of the largest is Google. Please take a look at all the beautiful comments they posted in support of our teammates!

    Google Docs Link

    These are very uncertain times for our employees and their countrymen and women. Their actions inspire the world. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers, and as always, thank you for your support!

    G

  • Gretchen Seth Sr. VP, International at Logistics Plus

    Dear All

    I have received many kind emails thanking me for these reports, but as I tell everyone, I am only the messenger. We have a whole team dedicated to this effort, working long hours on their own time to help out. I would like to recognize this core team, which also has lots of support from other LP folks both here in HQ and from all over the world:

    Emile Zafirov (from Bulgaria) is our CIO, living in North Carolina; Heiko Mueller is MD of our Germany office. Ivan Nemeth (from Hungary), Jim Berlin (our CEO), Julie Slomski, Maria Czerwinski, Tracy Coffy and I are all in Erie; Michal Smid (from Czech Republic) worked for us in Erie and now does so from CZ; Pawel Wronski manages our Rzeszow, Poland office. We all are working to support Volodymyr (Vova) Bohovych and his team in our Ukraine office in Ivano-Frankivsk.

    There are also three people on the team who are NOT LP employees but we wish they were: Zsigmond Balla, president and CEO of Ziglift, is from Hungary but living in the US, and is well-connected to many resources all over Europe; Ola Sieradzka from Poland was an intern in our Erie office (at the age of 16!) and has been a dear friend ever since. She has done an enormous amount of travel and coordination for the first groups arriving in Poland. Thank you, Ola!

    But to help Ola get back to her “day job” at HSBC we have just acquired our newest team member, Ola’s BEST friend Inna Zaripova, who is a Ukraine native currently living in Boise, Idaho. Inna speaks Ukrainian, Russian, German, Polish and English, and will be of great help to us in communicating with our travelers and their helpers along the way.

    It has been amazing to see the creativity and selfless acts that have come out of this team effort. We can’t say it enough: thank you!

    Slava Ukrayini!

    G

  • Gretchen Seth Sr. VP, International at Logistics Plus

    Gretchen’s Wednesday report

    Hi all,

    It’s been a great week so far. I have been brushing up on my eastern European geography and spellings of place names! 😊 For you Google Maps geeks, our next group (one LP Ukraine employee, her mom and a dog) are currently 100 km from the Ukraine/Poland border at Korczowa-Kracovets. From there they will go to Rzeszow, Poland, where the amazing Pawel has miraculously secured an apartment, as he says, by “pure luck”, as thousands of people are coming into the city, and everyone is looking for housing!

    Thank you to LP Germany, for organizing a truckload of relief supplies with the help of one of their clients. It will likely be sent to Romania to be distributed to Ukrainian refugees arriving there.

    And thanks to everyone who is passing along the donation website info. We continue to receive funds from all over the world, and we promise to be good stewards of this money.

    G

    PS—LP Poland ROCKS, but so does this group of brave Ukrainian soldiers. The spirit of the Ukrainian people at this time of conflict is truly inspiring.

    https://www.linkedin.com/posts/james-clutterbuck-monaco_ive-seen-everything-now-ukrainian-soldiers-activity-6903645906391183360-qSBw

  • Jim Berlin CEO, Logistics Plus

    Just had a zoom call from Poland with Ola and the girls

    SO good to see them. They are tired, but they are safe and look fine and are very thankful for everyone’s support. ( I told them we will ALL help in ANY way we can and that they are heroes. 💪

    Sleep well, ladies.

    (And thank you, Ola 😘)

    JB

  • Gretchen Seth Sr. VP, International at Logistics Plus

    Gretchen’s Tuesday report

    More good news to report today: we now have a total of seven safe and secure after their recent arrival in Katowice, Poland. Three of them—Maryna, Tania and Katia got some food, a shower and a good night’s sleep at Ola’s house after their >48 hours in transit, and this morning all headed right back to the border to welcome and to help the many other refugees who have also made the journey 💪💪💪. God bless them 🙏

    Some more folks are being driven to the border through a coordinated effort of LP colleagues and our many wonderful connections in Hungary and elsewhere in Europe. We are so fortunate to have all of you in our lives!

    Also we are happy to report that we have reached our initial goal of $550,000 to support our colleagues in Ukraine. Isn’t that awesome?! Nearly 200 donations from around the LP world, from friends, family, customers, employees, vendors…Amazing! Donations in any amount are still welcome, and very much appreciated as, sadly, there will be more help required over time for sure.

    Your emails of support and encouragement have been wonderful to read. We hope to bring you more good news tomorrow.

    G

  • Jim Berlin CEO, Logistics Plus

    Thought for Today

    "War is a defeat for humanity”.

    —Pope John Paul II

    JB

  • Gretchen Seth Sr. VP, International at Logistics Plus

    Gretchen’s Monday report

    Good morning everyone!

    LOTS of good news to start the week:

    First, Maryna, Katia and Tania have finally crossed into Poland after over three days of waiting. They are exhausted but our friends Ola and her parents are taking them into their home to rest, and then settling them into an apartment.

    Also, Anastasia, her baby Artur, Lyudmyla and Iryna have arrived in Romania and are now heading to Poland as well.

    In the first 24 hours, over 100 of you have already contributed over $10,000 to our new fund, and more is on the way.

    https://lpukrainerelief.com/

    We are so grateful to our superheroes in Poland and to all of you. We could not be doing this without you!

    Thanks to all,

    G

  • Gretchen Seth Sr. VP, International at Logistics Plus

    Gretchen’s Sunday update

    Hi everyone,

    We have had an incredible outpouring of support, not only from LP employees but also from many of our partners, customers, vendors and friends all over the world. (Thank you, all) People all want to “do something” to help, so we have set up this website:

    https://lpukrainerelief.com/

    We will continue to report on the situation, and appreciate all the positive energy being generated as we stand in solidarity with our Ukrainian family. It truly means the world to us!

    Thanks to all,

    G

  • Gretchen Seth Sr. VP, International at Logistics Plus

    Gretchen’s Saturday update

    Hello all,

    We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for our Ukraine team! Thank you to all of you all over the world who have offered money, accommodations and prayers. I know it means the world to them! If needed, as things develop, we will set up a fund where people can contribute. Thank you. Right now, though, we’re ok. We’ve got it covered so far. But thank you.

    Three of the girls are in line at the Polish border, expecting to cross within the next 12 hours, when they will be met by Pawel and Ola and taken to Ola’s family’s home. Once they are settled, they will move into an apartment where they will have food and other necessary items. Thank you again to our Poland team for their 24/7support!

    We have called upon several of our friends and colleagues in Poland, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Germany, and Hungary who have all agreed to take our folks in and find them temporary homes (thank you—Ola, Pawel, Michal, Emile, Heiko, Ivan, Zig) Several are already on their way. (Please get there safely). Vova is coordinating with us from Ivano-Frankivsk.

    Another one of the ladies is traveling toward the border today hoping to cross at a different point. Lines at all the borders are very long and slow. Nothing anyone can do about that.

    We will continue to update you as we get more information on the various members of our team. Thank you again for your continued prayers and concern!

    G

  • Jim Berlin CEO, Logistics Plus

    Brief Update

    All,

    In light of the deteriorating situation in Ukraine, LP has set up a fund and a network to help any of our colleagues who want to (and can) get out of the country to safety.

    We have called upon several of our friends and colleagues in Poland, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Germany and Hungary who have all agreed to take our folks in and find them temporary homes (thank you—Ola, Pawel, Michal, Emile, Heiko, Ivan, Zig) Several are already on their way. (Please get there safely). Vova is coordinating with us from Ivanofrankivsk.

    Since this will be a very “fluid” situation, I’ve asked Gretchen to oversee this effort. I know she will be all over the necessary communication and coordination.

    Thanks, everyone, for your quick and loving support. I will keep everyone apprised of things as they develop.

    LP Ukraine colleagues—please know you are in our thoughts and prayers, and that we will do whatever is needed to help out. You are all valued members of the LP family. And we are with you.

    Stay strong!

    JB