PHOENIX — Richard Nungesser, founder and international director of Bread of Life International says, "my heart is broken for the people of Ukraine."
For Nungesser, the war against Ukraine hits close to home.
Richard grew up in the Valley, attending Arizona State University. But he also lived in Poland for 20 years, building his nonprofit organization, Bread of Life.
"We work to rescue forgotten people," says Nungesser. "The homeless, the hungry, the sick and the dying. And currently, the refugees in Poland and in Moldova."
The non-profit works in 37 cities across Poland and six different countries around the world. Right now, over one million Ukrainians are forced to leave, seeking refuge in surrounding countries like Poland.
"It's a very tragic situation because they've left their homes and everything that they've known to go to a foreign country," says Nungesser. That's where Bread of Life steps in.
"We're able to be there on the frontlines to help them with food, with shelter and the support they need," says Nungesser.
He says, "The invasion happened a week ago, last Thursday. So, on Friday, we sent the first truck to the Ukrainian border to take humanitarian supplies."
Nungesser says right now, there's the immediate need for necessities like food, clothing and shelter. But there's also a greater need:
"Long term, help the children integrate into the Polish schools, teach them Polish," he says.
Nungesser is making plans to help Ukrainian mothers find work for their families in Poland, while men ages 18 to 60 fight across the border. He's coordinating with surrounding countries like Norway, Germany and Sweden to get supplies into Poland.
Across the Valley on 10th Street in Phoenix, St. Mary's Ukrainian Orthodox Church received several boxes of medical donations for refugees on Sunday.
Nungesser tells us he is planning to visit Poland within a week to help give out supplies for refugees.
If you feel called to help, donate to the Bread of Life GoFundMe page.