Henry County man prepares to travel to Ukraine to help those in need

People throughout Ukraine are taking shelter wherever they can.
People throughout Ukraine are taking shelter wherever they can.(WDBj7)
Published: Mar. 2, 2022 at 6:55 PM EST
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HENRY COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - Watching Russian jets is a sight that’s become the norm throughout the last week for people all across Ukraine.

It’s a sight that’s vastly different from what George Metz remembers seeing his first time in the country, in May 2020.

“The quality of life overall is very high there, the quality of living, the quality of food, the quality of medical care are all very high,” said Metz, a Henry County native.

Metz’s dream has always been to work for an international aid organization. In 2019 he was accepted to Doctors without Borders, or MSF, to work on a variety of projects, including one focused on Tuberculosis, in the city of Zhytomyr, with a team of 20.

Over the last two years, he’s traveled back and forth between the states and Ukraine.

“We treat the separatists, we treat Ukrainian soldiers, doesn’t matter what side of the conflict you’re on,” said Metz.

Metz says he is on standby with MSF as a logistics operations manager and is returning to Ukraine Thursday without his team.

Clarification from Doctors Without Borders: “While MSF runs programs in Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus, and is in the midst of ramping up its response in the region, Metz’s efforts are not affiliated with the organization.”

Metz says he will fly into Berlin, drive across Poland, and cross the border at Hungary. He will take his first group of nine people to Warsaw and then drive back to Ukraine. He’s also taking cash and medical supplies as shelves are becoming empty.

“I don’t need a lot of space for my stuff and I have two fifty-pound bags and I plan on filling them both up,” said Metz.

The rest of his time isn’t planned out, so Metz doesn’t know the full scope of how he will help, but he says he knows he needs to.

“Changing my banner or my flag on Facebook or clicking “like” or putting a sad face doesn’t do anything, so I just racked my brain of what I can do to help out,” said Metz.

If you’d like to contact Metz, you can do so at George.Metz@icloud.com. He’s accepting donations for medical supplies and for gas to be able to transport as many people as he can.

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