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Paulina Interview

My name is Russell Bowman, Co-founder of the charity Supply Ukraine. Today I met up with one of our contacts in Poland, Paulina Witkowska. She's a truly wonderful person with a giant heart so I’d like to take some time to tell you about her and what we discussed regarding the current situation in Ukraine.

Before the invasion of Ukraine, Paulina ran her own construction business here in Poland which she still heads up in the background along with all her current charity work. I was first introduced to Paulina back in April by a mutual friend who was volunteering at Warsaw train station, Paulina is one of the volunteer coordinators at the station and has been since March 1st. The more I spoke with Paulina on that day, the clearer it become that she was doing so much more than just volunteer coordination & like all other hand-on volunteers the more she did the more she found was needed to be done. Since I’ve met her the workload she has taken on has grown and grown as she further proves herself to be an incredibly resourceful person when it comes to finding ways to help Ukraine.

While volunteering at the station Paulina is working for “Kamilianska Misja Pomocy Spolecznej”, a homeless charity that have pivoted towards helping the refugees in Warsaw during this crisis. She has also set up a mother and baby unit here in Warsaw to help some refugees who need more specific care involving children. At the same time she has also been running supplies into Ukraine whenever she can. It’s safe to say she doesn’t stop, I have no idea how she finds all the time but she does.

I spoke with Paulina for well over an hour, here’s how a few of my questions got answered:

In your own words, why did you start doing this?

“I started because I couldn’t even imagine what these people can feel like with all this fear of tomorrow, with the pain of losing family members, and a roof over their heads. It didn’t really feel like a choice.”

How far into Ukraine do you run supplies?

“Balice, Misja, and basically anywhere its safe enough to personally go. There and a few cities where it’s just not safe enough, there is no humanitarian corridors and I’ve promised people close to me I won’t put myself into danger.”

Good, if people like you get hurt many others suffer. You are far too useful to put yourself in danger.

“Thank you. We’ve had a couple of moments though. When we were in Jaworów, the Russians were bombing just 35km away. Then also in Stryj & Sambor the air-raid siren was going off while we were driving, I think I sent you the video?”

Yes you did, thanks. Was it scary?

“Not really, we just drove very fast!”

Jesus. Anything else?

“A couple of tires burst because of shrapnel in the road or one time the wheel had locked up so it wore down until it burst in the middle of the road. Everyone was safe though.”

So, what would you say is the current feeling of the people still living in Ukraine?

“That depends entirely on where you are talking about, some places like Lviv people are still living their ‘normal’ lives, schools are open and businesses are still operating. The only difference is there’s now a 23:00 curfew. Other places that are still being shelled like XXXXX (I’m not going to broadcast this location) there is currently 130 people hiding in the basement of a school. Women, children, the elderly, all stuck there because they’re too scared to leave even though they’re not far from the border."

And you run supplies to these places?

“Well, yes, someone has to make sure they have food and water.”

But I thought you didn’t put yourself in danger?

“Not unnecessary danger and this city has humanitarian corridors so it’s not that bad, most of the shelling happens at night.”

Ok, so other than funding, how else can we help you?

“Well obviously funding is very important if only because the price of fuel has gone up so much, we’ve set up a Zrzutka (Polish go fund me), but also if people are less comfortable giving money they can always buy supplies directly from –,, or and have them delivered to "For Paulinas care, al. Jerozolimskie 54, 00-019 Warszawa." (Links can be found below the article.)

Fantastic, and what sort of supplies do you need the most?

“Food! Most of all non-perishable food, canned stuff, rice, pasta, anything with a long shelf life. Also, salt!"


"Yes, salt has become very rare in Ukraine. Even the shops that have it are not selling it because it’s being used to preserve meats and other food. 1Kg of salt used to cost 5UAH but now costs 100UAH!”

Wow that’s crazy, is that just scarcity?

“That plus inflation, yes”

Ok, anything else?

“Bottled water, juice for kids, I have a list on my phone I can share later.”

Thank you, we’ll add it to the website and socials

After our chat, Paulina took me for a quick walk around the refugee area at the station. It’s changed every time I’ve visited and this time was no different. It’s now more streamlined as there are less people crossing the border, one large tent facilitates everything they need. There’s a corner for children to play which houses their artwork on the wall. They now have free vending machines for tea and coffee etc, and there is the food service area that's always been there, ran by World Service Kitchen. The atmosphere was strange though, it’s clear that although there are less people leaving Ukraine, those who are have been through much more. There’s an air of trauma.

Before I left, we spoke of the politics surrounding the war. I asked how long she thought this war would go on for but like everyone else Paulina had no clue.

“Months? Half a year? I couldn’t say, we just pray it’s as short as possible.”

We hugged and said thanks to each other. As I walked away, I felt sorrow, because so much still needs to be done, but also a renewed urgency and drive because hopefully together, with the help of everyone reading this, we can get those things done and bring comfort to people who desperately need it!

Below are links to all the ways you can help and I sincerely hope that you do.

Slava Ukraini!

Polish GoFundME -

{Site to buy supplies} - - -

Delivered too: For Paulinas care, al. Jerozolimskie 54, 00-019 Warszawa

List of requested supplies:

Food: Everything in can's, Pasta, Rice, Tomatoes, Soups, Ham & Cheese for sandwiches, Other things for sandwiches, Butter, Cream, Potato's, Onion, Vegetables for soup, Bread, Sugar, Tea, Coffee, Sweets for kids, Food for animals

Soap, Shampoos, Gels, Washing powder, Paper toilet, Other hygienic things


For headache, fluu, for stress, for heart, for pressure, and others

Socks, Tshirts, Dresses & Shoes

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