TAPS Ukraine Providing Food, Medicine, Relief for Those in Need
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – March 18, 2022
Founded in 2018 and modeled after the US-based nonprofit the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), TAPS Ukraine provides a peer-based support system for Ukrainians who are grieving the death of a military loved one. Since 2014, more than 14,000 Ukrainians have died while fighting for their country. Sadly, since Russia’s invasion began on February 24, 2022, and war broke out across the country, that number continues to grow.
Today, in addition to their work supporting surviving families, TAPS Ukraine has been providing relief and refuge for those fighting on Ukraine’s frontlines. Made up largely of war-widows and surviving families, the team behind TAPS Ukraine has spent the past four weeks running the Coordination Headquarters of Dnipro, a space dedicated to providing care for the Ukrainian Army, National Guard, National Police, and internally displaced persons (IDPs). Working in partnership with the Dnipro mayor’s office, TAPS Ukraine has provided food, medicine, and housing to more than 10,000 people daily and is currently helping meet the needs of the Ukrainian army.
"I start every morning by reading factual wartime reports,” Dnipro Mayor Barry Filatov said in a recent letter to TAPS. “How many medical supplies are left in hospitals for the wounded? Are there enough body bags for those who could not be saved? How much food is left to feed the people? Will Dnipro be able to provide food and everything necessary for the tens of thousands of refugees coming to us on a daily basis?”
Dnipro is Ukraine’s fourth-largest city, and, according to Filatov, it is now the main humanitarian hub in the nation. Because of the immense relief work being done the area, it has recently become a target for Russian bombing. Over the past few days, apartment complexes, a kindergarten, and, most recently, the Dnipro airport have all been destroyed. Yet, despite the continually worsening circumstances, the team behind TAPS Ukraine—a group Filatov called the city’s “lifeline”—isn’t letting up and is dedicated to fighting for the nation their loved ones died defending.
“My husband gave his life for our country,” said Elena Shilova, the surviving widow of Sergey Shilova, who was killed in fighting in the Donbass region in 2015. “Now, I am defending the country my husband fought and died for. We are fighting for our freedom in Ukraine, just as so many others do around the world. I want peace for my children and for my country. And I will do my part to ensure peace returns to Ukraine.”
TAPS Ukraine follows the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivor’s proven peer-based model of care, and came about in 2015 after the U.S. Department of State approached TAPS founder and president Bonnie Carroll to assist surviving families in Ukraine. Since then, the organization has helped thousands of Ukrainians grieving the loss of their military loved ones through seminars and retreats, providing resources and information on grief and trauma, and connecting them with professional counseling.
While TAPS Ukraine is an independent NGO staffed by Ukrainians and fully funded by donations, the relationship it shares with its partners at TAPS in the United States has remained strong. Throughout the recent conflict, Carroll has been in constant contact with the team behind TAPS Ukraine, and, like many in the United States, has followed the war with a heavy heart.
“It’s such an extraordinary circumstance where we have recently bereaved military survivors, the women and families who are part of TAPS Ukraine, who are now responding on the frontlines of Ukraine in Dnipro,” Carroll said. “They have already lost everything, and now they are going to do everything they can to protect their homeland.”
For those interested in getting involved with TAPS Ukraine’s mission, they can donate directly to their cause where funds are currently being used to support the organization and distribution of food, medicine, and supplies to those in need. You can also keep up with TAPS Ukraine through their Facebook page where their team is sharing updates from Dnipro.
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To request an interview with TAPS President and Founder, Bonnie Carroll, or for any media requests surrounding TAPS Ukraine, please email firstname.lastname@example.org; or call (202) 588-TAPS (8277) to speak with someone on the TAPS Communications team.
The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is the leading national organization providing compassionate care and survivor support services for the families of America’s fallen military heroes. Since 1994, TAPS has offered support to all those grieving the death of a military loved one through peer-based emotional support, connections with grief and trauma resources, grief seminars and retreats for adults, Good Grief Camps for children, casework assistance, connections to community-based care, online and in-person support groups and the 24/7 National Military Survivor Helpline, all at no cost to surviving families. TAPS expanded its programs in 2014 to include international work in 14 countries. For more information, please visit TAPS.org or call 202.588.TAPS (8277).