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Colorado woman returns home after helping send supplies to Ukraine

Kelli Rohrig returned to Eagle County earlier this month, but she plans to head back to Poland very soon.

EAGLE COUNTY, Colo. — A woman in Eagle County is back from Poland after helping families who fled Ukraine. She's collecting more supplies in Colorado before heading overseas again.

During her time in Europe, she connected with other Americans who are driving into the war zones to drop off these donations.

"My grandfather's family were Belgian Jews and people helped them get out," Kelli Rohrig said. "You got to pay back. You got to pay back to those people."

Strangers helped her family during World War II. For Rohrig, going to Poland to help Ukrainians is her way of giving back. 

She's back in Eagle County now, but she plans to make another trip very soon. 

"I could ride my bike to Walgreens and get hydroperoxide to clean a wound," she said. "That is not possible right now in Ukraine, and that is becoming more difficult in Poland, because we are taking all of the supplies from Poland."

While she was in Poland, she collected a lot of supplies with the help of monetary donations. Those supplies included medicine, trauma gear and food. Then she got some help driving it all into Ukraine. 

She calls Timothy O'Brien and Samuel Lyles the "Dynamic Duo."

"[Rohrig] was nonstop going to pharmacies, hospitals, and doctors hunting down medication," O'Brien said.

O'Brien is a combat veteran from Chicago. Lyles quit his job in Texas to help people he doesn't know. Both of them are still in Poland. 

"They are essentially homeless," Lyles said. "They rely on people taking supplies to them."

Lyles and O'Brien plan to make a trip to Odesa, Ukraine this week. The drive is more than 12 hours from where they are right now in Poland.

"Twice already we have brought vehicle loads of supplies - mostly medical supplies, food, diapers, baby formula, clothing," O'Brien said.

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