Guided by her family’s experience, Northland Ukrainian collecting donations

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Galyna Tuttle whipped up a couple chai tea lattes at Common Ground Coffee Bar in Cloquet, a quiet shop far removed from the chaos of her home country, Ukraine. 

“When (the invasion) started, it was kind of shock because I couldn’t believe it,” Tuttle said. “I was like, who would do that? Like we live in the 21st century. Like why would a country attack? Because it can? Because it’s bigger?” 

She moved to the United States to be with her husband more than a decade ago. But her immediate family is still in Ukraine, hearing the sirens and trying to survive. 

Her family used to run to the root cellar to take cover. She said after weeks of air raids, they don’t even bother. 

“It breaks my heart for Ukraine,” Tuttle said. 

Galyna and her American husband Andrew already operate 11th Hour Ministries, an organization that feeds and supports widows and orphans in Ukraine. When war broke out, they helped as many people as they could to leave the country. Now they’re finding more ways to help those who stayed. 

Her niece is a doctor who chose to stay and work. 

“My niece, she called and she said just so many people are dying of the blood loss,” she said. “They said they watched a young boy just died just because of — he bled to death. So they said if they had this powder, he would be living.” 

So now she is collecting medical supplies she hopes will save lives. 

“I’m actually planning on going to Ukraine to bring the medical supply because shipping usually takes like eight weeks,” Tuttle said. “And people are dying now when we speak.”

In the next couple of weeks, she will fly to a neighboring country and then get herself to the border of Ukraine. 

“I’m very scared,” she said. “But then it’s like, I will have a chance to see my family one more time because who knows … what the future holds.”

She said for Ukrainians, priorities have shifted. Family comes first. And generosity will sustain them. 

Financial donations can be sent to 11th Hour Ministries at:

PO Box 606
Carlton, MN 55718

The list of needed medical supplies includes:

  • Zicam
  • Eye drops
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Ibuprofen
  • Aspirin
  • Stop Bleeding Quick Kit
  • Stop Bleeding powder
  • First Aid wound seal
  • Trauma First Aid kit
  • Everlit occlusive chest seal
  • Non-vented adhesive dressing
  • Israeli-style emergency bandage
  • Portable tourniquet first aid
  • North American Rescue Hyfin vent chest seal
  • Bactine Max Pain Relieving Cleansing Spray
  • Vitamin B6
  • Sleep aid
  • Allergy relief

Medical supply donations are being accepted at: 

Grace Church
601 14th St. 
Cloquet, MN 55720

Common Ground Coffee Bar
103 Ave. C
Cloquet, MN 55720