JOHNSTON, Iowa – On Wednesday, Gov. Kim Reynolds launched Iowa’s effort to aid the people of Ukraine.
The state is providing 146 protective helmets and 714 ballistic vests to Ukraine through donations from the Department of Public Safety and 18 other law enforcement agencies. The retired equipment is past the manufacturers’ recommended service life but still in usable condition.
“Ukrainian men and women have taken up arms alongside their military to protect their homeland from Putin’s unprovoked attack,” Reynolds said. “Iowa has a special connection to Ukraine through our sister state relationship with Cherkasy. Today’s donation fulfills an urgent need in Cherkasy and represents an incredible team effort from the entire state. I’m proud that Iowa is doing what we can to help.”
The state of Nebraska contributed additional helmets and vests to send with Iowa’s donation.
“Ukrainians have bravely withstood Russia’s unprovoked invasion for more than a month,” said Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts. “As they’ve come under attack, the Ukrainian people have shown spirited resistance that has won the respect of the free world. As they defend their homeland, Ukrainians have an immense need for protective gear. Agencies large and small from across Nebraska have stepped up to help meet this need. I’m grateful for Nebraskans’ generosity in donating these critical supplies.”
The Governor’s office worked with the Ukrainian Consulate in Chicago to identify an opportunity with all appropriate federal licensing for delivery to the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.
Reynolds also announced that the state, along with Iowa Sister States, will work with Meals from the Heartland in West Des Moines to help address the immediate and ongoing food supply needs of Cherkasy. Planning is underway to send an initial shipment of meals as soon as possible, and then assess how longer-term needs may be met. Meal packaging opportunities for the public are not available at this time but will likely be scheduled in the coming weeks. However, Iowans can help with this effort now by donating to help cover the cost of shipping the meals into Ukraine. Visit IowaSisterStates.org for more information and to make a donation.
Iowa’s sister state relationship with Cherkasy, a province located in central Ukraine, began in 1996. Cherkasy, similar to Iowa, has an economy largely driven by agriculture, and its capital city is the center for industry, primarily manufacturing, furniture making, and agricultural processing.
Reynolds recently ordered that the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division remove any Russian-produced alcohol from its purchase list. She also ended Iowa’s sister state relationship with Stavrapol Krai, Russia and recently declared a Day of Prayer for Ukraine.