SALEM TOWNSHIP, PA — Coins and patches can be found all over the office of Salem Township Police Chief Michael McNeal – some of which he's designed and sold to raise money for community events.
"We did well with our other coins," said the chief. "And then when the invasion of Ukraine came up, we all were feeling helpless about it, and we decided to sell the coins as a fundraiser."
So far, they've raised more than $5,000 selling coins and morale patches.
"On the patch, we have President Zelenskyy with his famous quote, when our President Biden asked to evacuate them. He said, "I don't need a ride; I need ammunition."
The department gives the money to current Bloomsburg resident and Ukrainian native Kristina Martyniuk.
"My family's still there – my brother, my uncles, aunties, cousins, everyone, families, and friends," said Martyniuk.
Martyniuk uses the money to buy things needed on the front lines.
"Because the volunteer I'm working within Ukraine, he is getting requests from the divisions, different divisions, and we need money for that. So, government is helping, but there are people that still need help," she added.
Then, because Martyniuk says the mail takes too long, she takes bags of gear and equipment to Poland herself.
"I had 30 bags, 23 kilograms each, with helmets, the body armor, and a lot of a lot of different stuff, medications, supplies," she explained. "And then it is difficult to deliver. It's cost a lot, and it takes forever to go, so with me, I only took the stuff that guys did on the frontline. So we went to Poland for a couple days, dropped it there to my volunteers."
If you would like to buy a coin or patch to help with this effort, you can find contact information for the Salem Township Police Department on its website by clicking here.
See more videos on our area’s connection to the Crisis in Ukraine.