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Social media helps local man in Poland connect Sacramento to relief efforts for Ukrainian refugees – CBS Sacramento

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The power of social media is helping connect Sacramento to relief efforts to help Ukrainian refugees in Poland.

A local man shared how the community here helps him make an impact thousands of miles away.

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After weeks of observing the devastation in Ukraine, Margarita Angeles Klein found a way to help after spotting a message online.

“Very short and sweet and ‘I’m going to Poland. If you like donating, let me know,” she said.

The Nextdoor neighborhood site put her in touch with William Houser – better known as Liam, a former Air Force paramedic and current California Air National Guard paramedic on a solo mission helping refugees . Margarita is one of 20 people who donated clothing and supplies for the trip.

“I was so excited because I was trying to figure out how I could help in any way and I’m still collecting stuff,” she said. “I also went through my closet and the things I was wearing and said, ‘You know what, I’ve got plenty. These people have nothing.

William posted the request a few days before leaving.

“Within 24 hours we had become a small team,” he said.

He traveled with only a few bags before flying from Sacramento to Warsaw, the capital of Poland, then on to Medyka on the Polish-Ukrainian border.

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“I was glued to the TV. I was just thinking, ‘Why wasn’t I there?’ Said Guillaume. “As a paramedic, I have a skill set that you can’t really send online, so I thought, ‘Why not just go for it?’”

William is in contact with other volunteers, in particular by financing the transport of Ukrainians with the monetary donations he has received. Most recently, he joined the Humanitarian Aid Center’s Global Disaster Relief Team.

“Most people have cuts, bruises, scrapes, dehydration, [and] old people [may be] having trouble breathing,” he said.

It’s not just his medical skills that are used. Sometimes it’s just a friendly face.

“Some of them still come in shocked and they just need a quiet place to cry,” William said.

It is an emotional effort by the community to come together and make a change.

“No matter how small our impact may seem, it made a difference for a few people, and those actions by our community matter,” William said. “Community members have also given hundreds of dollars in donations.”

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This money is used to transport Ukrainians and other local groups that William encounters during his stay. He is expected to return to Sacramento on April 10.