Blankets. Sleeping bags. Medical supplies. First-aid kits.
Organizers of a collection drive based in Huntington want those items and more to send to Ukrainians besieged by the Russian invasion that began last week.
As part of what’s being called the Long Island Ukrainian Emergency Response Drive, the donations can be dropped off at 224 Wall St. in Huntington, the building that houses a doctor’s office and that of Suffolk County Legis. Stephanie Bontempi, as well as at Huntington Town Hall.
"The horrors in the Ukraine — I mean, we all see it — it breaks my heart like it does for all of us. But we must do something to help them all, OK?" the doctor, David Buchin, a bariatric surgeon and Russian immigrant from Uzbekistan, said Thursday at the office.
He added: "What we see on TV, what we read in the papers, it’s absolutely horrendous, and we need to try to do something."
His publicist, Brian Finnegan, said the goods are being sent out abroad through a shipper in Port Reading, New Jersey, via the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America. Three SUVs full of donations went out Thursday as part of the Island drive, Finnegan said.
Speaking at the Huntington office Thursday, Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) said: "We see the pictures of these kids, these families, in the subways, we feel helpless because, you know? What can we do?"
He added: "Taking action like this, to give people an opportunity to make a contribution, is a great way to feel that we’re doing something, but we’ve all got to do more. Everyone has to do more."
Meanwhile, at a separate fundraiser, held at the Woodbury Jewish Center, Nassau County Legis. Joshua A. Lafazan stood before collected items.
"You think about the frightening images of children leaving their homes, seniors leaving their homes with nothing but the clothes on their backs," he said. "We have a responsibility as a democracy and as citizens to step up and serve."