KYIV, Ukraine — A Houston-based disaster non-profit is currently on the ground in Ukraine.
They say the same spirit that helped Houston rally together during a natural disaster is fueling Ukraine today.
According to its website, CrowdSource Rescue was born in a flooded office as Hurricane Harvey hit Houston in 2017.
The loose group of volunteers used tech to organize life-saving rescues as the water rose. The flood waters eventually receded, but CrowdSource rescue stuck around, deploying to natural disasters when they were needed.
Now they are in Ukraine helping those in need as Russia invades.
Alan Gary is a retired Marine. Jason Rowe is an attorney and radio host.
"I've been their attorney for a couple of years," Rowe said.
Both are using their skills learned during some of the toughest times in Houston history to help Ukrainians as they battle for their lives.
“It's that same feeling of coming together that Houston had during Harvey and afterward where it doesn't matter," Rowe said. "Black or white, or what's going on, you're there to help each other and to make it through and that's exactly how these people feel day in day out."
CrowdSource Rescue representatives said they are making a real difference on the ground in Ukraine.
"Part of what the team was here to do was to train some of the Ukrainians on search and rescue techniques," Rowe said.
Recently they taught a class on how to apply tourniquets
“He got shot in the leg and one of the other troops ran over to him, grabbed him, tourniquet his leg, and pulled him to safety," Gary said. "So and that happened the day after we provided that training. So we were very thankful that we were able to help do that.”
And they don’t plan to stop helping.
“We look forward to our next mission," Gary said. "We plan on coming out, setting up a training center, and helping these people on a much larger level."
Because helping people in need is their main mission. And this mission reminds all of us how we are connected.
“I'm humbled that they trusted us as much as they do. I'm humbled to be in a position to help," Gary said. "Makes me proud to be an American. We've inspired nations, we've inspired people across the world.”