By Marlee Ginter

CITRUS HEIGHTS (CBS13) – Tactical gear being collected in Citrus Heights is critical, but for Anatoliy Gavrilyuk they’re personal.

“Every day we wait, every day matters. They bombed Kiev and Lviv last night.  Our day, you know, doesn’t start with coffee anymore. It starts with like hey how [are] they doing? How’s my brother-in-law doing?” said Gavrilyuk.  “We’re all doing this to save people’s lives.”

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His brother-in-law is volunteering in Ukraine, driving supplies across their home country, constantly in danger.

“There was a story a few weeks ago that they shot and killed all those volunteers and we strongly believe that the bulletproof vests will protect them,” said Gavrilyuk.

Gavrilyuk’s organization “Deep Roots of Ukraine” teamed up with Sunrise Marketplace, calling out to the community for military-grade gear and combat medical supplies.

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“What’s happening over there is not right. We need to do what we can,” said Terri Nelson.

Nelson dropped off bandages and other medical supplies. Several of her co-workers are from Ukraine.

“It breaks my heart to see them sad. They come in, they can’t, they’re all the way over here too,” said Nelson. “I can’t do much else. I don’t have a lot of money. I can’t go over there and fight. What I can do, I’m trying to do.”

An Auburn police officer dropped off an old bulletproof vest.  Going beyond raising money, they’re raising hope by supplying civilians in Ukraine with protective gear that could save their lives.

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You can visit the Sunrise Marketplace website for more information on items needed or to make a monetary donation.