Bethenny Frankel has jumped into action to assist Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion.
On Thursday, the day the takeover began, Bethenny, 51, announced she was preparing to ship supplies to NATO countries bordering Ukraine through her organization, B Strong.
Frankel’s organization has committed to distributing $10 million worth of aid, but on Friday announced she had now upped her goal to $20 million.
Doing her part: Bethenny Frankel has jumped into action to assist Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion
The former Real Housewives Of New York star documented the relief efforts on her Instagram account, posting video of boxes being packed with supplies by members of her B Strong team and her warehouse full of countless boxes.
Frankel gave fans real-time updates on the situation in various videos posted to her account.
In her most recent update, Bethenny revealed her team was mostly working with women and children as young men were being asked to remain in Ukraine to defend their country.
‘We’re really dealing with women and children at the border in Poland. We just had an incident with a woman whose husband was pulled out of the car, he was taken because he’s Ukrainian and the men can’t leave, and so he’s never held a gun before in his life and now he’s a soldier.
‘We’re really dealing with women and children’: Frankel gave fans real-time updates on the situation in various videos posted to her account
‘So she’s coming through with her family and we have to get her family to Spain where she has family, ’cause she doesn’t have family in Poland.
‘So now a lot of money is going to individual cases and families through cash cards and plane tickets. So, initially we’re trying to raise money, initially just $100,000 for these families to try to get them where they need to get to. This happened during Hurricane Maria too, where people needed to get home for different situations.
‘But we’re dealing with mostly women and children, unless the men are young men.’
She also revealed her $20M relief effort goal in another video posted Friday.
‘Our team is in Poland, and will reach the border of Budomierz – Hruszów… in one and a half hours.
‘This is a crisis’: The former Real Housewives Of New York star documented the relief efforts on her Instagram account, posting video of boxes being packed with supplies by members of her B Strong team and her warehouse full of countless boxes
‘One family every ten minutes is fleeing and coming to this particular border. We have committed to $10 million in aid. That’s 40 containers containing $250,000 of aid each. Our goal is now $20M in aid which would be 80 containers.
‘If it becomes a mass exodus, that would require 100 containers which we have done before, we did that in Hurricane Maria and Irma.’
Speaking with People, Bethenny said her organization were in a position to act quickly as they already had a warehouse filled with $16M worth of aid.
‘We can just be very quick’: Speaking with People , Bethenny said her organization were in a position to act quickly as they already had a warehouse filled with $16M worth of aid.
‘Here, we can just be very quick,’ she told People. ‘We’re very immediate because we already have a warehouse that’s filled with $16 million in aid.’
Aid includes 100,000 crisis kits containing basic items, including blankets, sleeping bags, and water.
Frankel told People her organization has begun sending the kits to Poland, where they will create refugee camps and distribute supplies by Monday.
The containers being sent contain $250K worth of aid with donations from partners such as Goya, Delta and Away.
‘It’s the things that people would need immediately, if displaced. Just the basic, basic needs,’ Bethenny said of the supplies being shipped.
In the early hours of Thursday morning Russian forces launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, thought to be Moscow’s most aggressive action since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.
By the end of the day, the Ukrainian government said 137 civilians and military personnel had been killed. Several explosions were heard in the capital of Kyiv early this morning as Russian forces pressed on with their assault.
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