As the war against Ukraine continues, people around the world continue to help refugees in different ways. Even here in Michigan.
“Our company was contacted, initially regarding Ukraine, approximately two weeks prior to the invasion,” said Steve Hernandez, CEO of The North Group. “To evacuate people, if a conflict breaks out.”
The North Group is a Detroit-based global risk management firm that takes a holistic approach to innovative security solutions.
“It was super humbling. This morning at 2 a.m. I got a picture of one of our guys with a 22-year-old Ukrainian girl that we’ve been working on for about five days,” Hernandez said.
Group North has a team of intelligence analysts monitoring Ukraine.
“The writing was obviously on the wall,” Hernandez said. “Very quickly we started to see, ‘ok wait, this is actually a big deal.'”
Christie Johnson is a Seattle-area humanitarian. She has been working first-hand with Ukrainian refugees for a week as they cross the Polish border.
“It’s freezing cold in here right now,” she said. “It’s winter, winter, winter. It’s cold and there are only tiny children crossing the border, trotting behind their mother, trying to keep up.
In addition to the elderly, Johnson said he saw thousands of mothers crossing the border with their children. While the men stay behind to fight.
Johnson is in Medyka, a village in Poland just across the border from Ukraine.
“The one thing that really struck me was how strong these women are, and how strong these kids are…to be a little bit tougher, when they’re really unsure of what their future holds. their reserve,” she said.