Iraq veteran living in Orlando travels to Poland to help Ukrainian refugees

A GoFundMe source says Floridians have donated around $1.6 million to Ukraine

A military veteran living in Orlando has arrived in Poland, volunteering at a shelter for Ukrainian refugees.

ORLANDO, Fla. – A military veteran living in Orlando has arrived in Poland, volunteering at a shelter for Ukrainian refugees.

Andrew Leibenguth said on Wednesday that he’s helping cheer up refugees in Warsaw, Poland.

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“I go in there and I cheer people up. My only goal, that’s all I do,” Leibenguth said. “They’re sad, as I would be. A lot of them lost their homes, a lot don’t plan on going back, have no clue what they are going to do.”

Not knowing the language, Leibenguth said he quickly realized he could connect with the children refugees by demonstrating magic tricks.

Leibenguth said he has been amazed by the support Poland’s government is offering to people from Ukraine.

As an Iraq war veteran, Leibenguth also said he has experience managing hurricane relief shelters in Louisiana. He’s urging Floridians to continue their support for the refugees in the region.

“Do not forget. Keep donating to these large organizations because without that, it’s only going to get worse; moral, money,” Leibenguth said.

A spokesperson for GoFundMe said people in Florida have raised $1.6 million across 11,000 campaigns since the war broke out in Ukraine.

St. Mary Protectress Ukrainian Catholic Church in Apopka is asking for people to donate online instead of dropping off physical donations. The church created this Amazon “wish list” for needed supplies. To donate, click here.


About the Author:

Troy graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication. He has reported on Mexican drug cartel violence on the El Paso/ Juarez border, nuclear testing facilities at the Idaho National Laboratory and severe Winter weather in Michigan.