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Harvey heroes from Houston heading to Ukraine with medical supplies

Five years ago, a group of volunteers formed CrowdSource Rescue during Hurricane Harvey. Now, they are sending a team with medical supplies to Ukraine.

HOUSTON — Volunteers from Houston are packing their suitcases full of medical supplies and preparing to leave for Ukraine on Friday.

The team of four people is being sent by CrowdSource Rescue, a non-profit that got its start during Hurricane Harvey by providing citizen rescues when 911 was overwhelmed. Since then, they've  helped thousands of folks after natural disasters, and are going to Ukraine to deliver aid after Vladimir Putin's man-made disaster. 

“How we met? Yeah, storms. How we all came to this point? I can’t say it’s anything but God," said one retired Marine, who asked KHOU 11 not to share his name because of the sensitive nature of the mission. 

“There’s the very real threat of Russian spies, Russian sympathizers things like that," he said. “The further east you go, the country is fortified, you have checkpoints every 3-4 miles, and that goes from the police forces, the militia, and just locals blocking up their neighborhoods."

He just returned from Ukraine and is preparing to go back with medical supplies. 

“We don’t necessarily need to be on the front line, but we will be supplying those who can access the front lines," he said.

From Houston to Ukraine. Tonight, we interviewed a retired Marine who is leaving Friday with a group of volunteers...

Posted by Grace White KHOU on Wednesday, April 6, 2022

“There were a lot of people in the search and rescue world looking at it when we announced, like what are you doing?" said Matthew Marchetti, one of the co-founders of CrowdSource Rescue. “It started in Harvey, these connections started in these awful storms, it’s where a lot of these volunteers met.” 

Five years later, volunteers are responding to disasters all over the country. Their latest mission is taking them overseas where the goal remains simple: get the help where it’s needed. 

“That’s the best hope I can give them, is to physically hand them these things and say 'Hey, we care, we want you to be well, we want to help you,'" said the retired Marine.

It's a reminder that even though it feels a world away, help from the heart of Houston can reach farther than they ever imagined. 

You can find out more about the mission and donations through CrowdSource Rescue's website.

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