To The Editor:

I am writing to you as a Waitsfield native and a 2012 Harwood Union High School alum, now living in Richmond, Virginia. Through my professional and personal networks, I have connections to individuals from Ukraine who are now in great need of assistance. 




A few weeks ago, I learned that a Ukrainian friend, Sasha, had evacuated to Poland with his wife and two sons. I met Sasha in the spring of 2019 when he served as an interpreter for a group of 25 Ukrainian youth and adults in the United States. Later that year, local high school students made a trip to Ukraine and benefitted from Sasha's assistance.

Upon speaking with Sasha recently, I learned that he had begun using his own savings and networks to assist other Ukrainian refugees who had fled to Poland. As a result, I decided to collect donations from my own friend networks here in the United States to send to Ukrainians in dire need.

Now nearly three weeks into the Russian invasion of Ukraine that has displaced many, what started as outreach to close friends has now become a larger initiative. I have become a conduit for money to those seeking to flee the violence, as well as those who have chosen to stay in Ukraine. I now have a team of three working with me diligently to raise funds via Venmo, PayPal and personal checks, which I wire to Sasha. He then distributes 100% of the funds to Ukrainian refugees in Poland and Latvia as well as others we know who are fearfully stuck in Ukraine with limited resources. 

To date, my network of friends and family has donated approximately $5,000 and others are reaching out in additional directions to add to that. The funds that have been sent already have met a wide variety of needs for dozens of people, including but not limited to: ground transportation from Western Ukraine to the Polish border for Ukrainian families; food and medical supplies for communities across Ukraine; the evacuation of children to Poland and Latvia; host family assistance, and more. Much more.

I am writing to let friends in Vermont know of these efforts and to call on the communities of Vermont to take action in support of the Ukrainian people.

Those wishing to make a financial contribution through me may use Venmo at @Tracy-Guion or via PayPal at @tracygui. For more information, people may email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tracy Guion
Richmond, Virginia
formerly of Waitsfield