RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A Richmond-based organization is sending help to Ukraine. It comes in the form of an ambulance filled with donations for the war-torn country. 

On Friday, the Richmond Ambulance Authority (RAA) announced the donation of one of its ambulances as part of the “U.S. Ambulances for Ukraine” nationwide effort.

The campaign was launched back in March of this year by Illinois-based Healthcare Vice President of Government Relations, Christopher Manson.

Manson said he got the idea one night from his daughter and it has turned into quite a success.  

“It’s worked. People have taken a leap of faith and we’ve been successful with getting them [ambulances] to Ukraine,” he said. “We provide pictures of where they end up at, so I think everyone is just happy to help.”

This is the twentieth ambulance to go to Ukraine. All of the ambulances were filled with things like gauze, bandages and special medicine. All items that are sent are critical to aid those trying to survive. 

“The only way we can continue to do this is because of generous donations by entities like the Richmond Ambulance Authority and the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association,” Manson said.

Chris wants to send 10 more ambulances to the country for a grand total of 30. U.S. Ambulances for Ukraine, Senator Warner, Secretary Littel, and other partners also donated supplies.

RAA partnered with the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association (VHHA), which coordinates and puts together the medical supply donations from multiple health agencies like the HCA Virginia, VCU Health and the Northern Virginia Emergency Response System.

“I’m really impressed with what the VHHA came up with — all the supplies to go over. It complements the ambulance,” said Chip Decker, CEO of RAA.  

Before departing, people from all involved organizations as well as some members of the community signed heartfelt messages on the ambulance as a way to encourage the Ukrainian community and let them know they aren’t alone.

RAA and VHHA are inviting members of the public to RAA headquarters from Monday, Nov. 7, to Wednesday, Nov. 9 to write messages of support on its ambulance for the Ukrainian people before it departs for Ukraine on Nov. 10. Anyone interested to write messages can do so anytime between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. leading up to its departure.

As the ambulance prepares to leave for Ukraine, Decker has a message for the country.  He wants people to know to the program is making a difference.

“We have your back,” Decker said. “This is just a small thing, but it’s what we can do to try and make your effort a little easier.”

To learn more about U.S. Ambulances for Ukraine visit the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association website.