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Afya Foundation volunteers in Yonkers pack medical supplies to send to Ukraine

Volunteers spend day packing medical supplies to ship to Ukraine 01:58

YONKERS, N.Y. -- Volunteers at a nonprofit in Yonkers spent Monday packing supplies to ship to Ukraine.

As CBS2's Natalie Duddridge reported, dozens of volunteers boxed up humanitarian and medical supplies needed on the front lines.

The program is called Operation Ukraine Airlift. Volunteers with the Afya Foundation, a critical response nonprofit, said they felt compelled to do their part.

"When everything was breaking and they told us we would be packing amputee kits and wound care, it was very hard to process and still is. That's a very emotional thing," volunteer Tony Feite said.

Feite, 24, was sorting through critical supplies like battlefield medicine and chemical protection respirators. By this time next week, the supplies could be in use on the front lines in Ukraine.

"This is a volunteer experience that I'll never forget," Feite said.

Danielle Butin started the Afya Foundation 15 years ago. Her decades of work in the medical field made her aware that countless medical supplies go to waste every year.

"We collect the medically unused, uncontaminated supplies from hospitals throughout the greater New York area," Butin said.

Afya salvages supplies that aren't expired. They're inspected, then boxed. Donated supplies will eventually arrive in Poland to be delivered to the main military hospital in Kyiv and field hospitals across 260 miles on the Ukraine-Russia border.

"When I received word yesterday that the children's cancer ward in Kyiv was bombed, it turned this into a completely different level of response and compassion," Butin said.

Stephen Kelly has been volunteering for Afya for more than a decade.

"When you're on the front lines, you're at high risk for battlefield injuries," Kelly said. "At this time, we're providing surgical supplies to treat those injuries. We're also providing humanitarian supply."

Kelly has no direct connections to Ukraine, but he felt compelled to help and wore yellow and blue in solidarity.

"Just imagine that you, today in the U.S., were asked to leave your home with nothing," Kelly said. "We really feel for these people."

Their goal is to pack 20 palettes of supplies and ship them out on a cargo plane bound for Ukraine next week.

The nonprofit said they are in need of volunteers and donations. Click here for more information.

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