Newsletter #8: Tactical medicine deep dive and advocacy updates

This is our regularly scheduled newsletter with important updates about our Emergency Response Project, advocacy work, and a list of the latest opportunities to support Ukraine. 

Dear Razom Community,

At Razom, we believe that one of the most effective ways to support the heroic efforts of Ukrainian defenders on the ground in Ukraine is by equipping them with tactical medical supplies.  This was the form of humanitarian aid that we focused on from day one, and it continues to be on the top of the list of most requested aid from hotspots that are actively repelling russian occupiers across Ukraine.

Razom volunteers were able to act fast in procuring these types of supplies largely because of their gained experience from 2014.  Canada-based Tonia Kumko, founder of IntoMath (before she became one of our resident tacmed experts) is one of the leading volunteers on the tacmed team, says she never would have thought she’d be using that prior experience again.  Today it allows her team to make decisions and find supplies faster.

Up until this point, we’ve maintained a fairly high degree of transparency with you about our logistical chain and where our tactical medicine shipments land across Ukraine.  Given the developments of the past week however, it’s become increasingly more risky for us to share which regions (territorial defense units and hospitals) we are serving in Ukraine when it comes to delivering tacmed aid.  But rest assured that we are working hard to prioritize regions of Ukraine where this aid can make the most impact in saving lives.  In the meantime, here’s what Razomers on the other side of the Atlantic have managed to achieve:

  • Over $5M has been spent on tactical medicine and tacmed equipment.
  • Razom is averaging procuring 10,000 tourniquets per week (worth over $250,000/week) from the most reputable suppliers buying CAT, SOF-T and/or SAM brands.  In life-or-death situations, tourniquets stop arterial bleeding so the quality of this single-use device matters.  They continue to be the most sought-after and requested forms of aid across Ukraine.
  • Thanks to our strong ties to communities and professionals on the ground in Ukraine, we’re able to learn of exact needs quickly and act on some specific (if not esoteric) requests that can make a big difference.  A good example has been SAM splints (procured over 3,100 of them for $56,100), designed for immobilizing bone and soft tissue injuries in emergency settings.  What’s more, we work hard and smart with your donation money by researching the best possible supply chain deals.  Aside from the 80 SAM splints that we secured for free, our best negotiated discount so far was 60% off!
  • We’ve purchased over 10,300 chest seals for over $58,000.  Ukrainians in the U.S. and Canada have really stepped up to the plate in procuring these because the supply of chest seals has been completely depleted in North America…through July.  So Razomers found contacts in Australia and the U.K to buy over 6,000 of these, which are due to arrive in our warehouse in western Ukraine later this week.
  • A group of about 15 volunteers worked around the clock to sort and pack aid for shipment overseas.  In one week’s time they put together 2,000 IFAKs in our New Jersey warehouse.  These are not your regular first aid kits – they’re designed to treat traumatic injuries and severe bleeding, life-saving materials that in one week were worth collectively over $200,000.

With all of the determination and attention to detail Razomers put towards sourcing the best tactical medicine supplies for Ukraine, a small group of volunteers decided to build an IT system from scratch that enables Razom to account for this aid when it flies overseas and lands in our warehouse in western Ukraine.  With accurate tracking, we’re able to be much more efficient in distributing tacmed supplies based on our availability and quantities needed in different hotspots across Ukraine.  That IT system is constantly being maintained, updated, and refined as we grow our operations.

Never forget that you have the power to not just donate money to help Ukraine, but your time and talents too.  In New York City last week, our community has gone above and beyond in its advocacy work by organizing a second Mothers’ March across the city, a #SaveMariupol flashmob in Grand Central Station, and a flag raising ceremony at Bowling Green.  You can read more about the significance of that ceremony and New York Mayor Eric Adams’ speech here.  The Ukrainian flag at Bowling Green won’t come down until Ukraine is victorious, and Ukraine will be victorious.  Make it happen sooner: keep showing up when it matters

Yesterday (Sunday, 3/27) Razom co-hosted (along with United Help Ukraine, the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, U.S. Ukrainian Activists, and the Renew Democracy Initiative) a rally at the Lincoln Memorial in D.C. to commemorate one month of Russia’s merciless invasion of Ukraine.  We later met with Ukrainian Ambassador to the US, Oksana Markarova, and Kateryna Smagliy, First Secretary at the Ukrainian Embassy to the US, as a kick off to a round of meetings on the Hill with decision makers this week. 

Here are some events to put on your calendar for the weeks ahead, including one opportunities for today!  

Thank you for taking the time to read this newsletter and continue to #StandWithUkraine.   After one month of war, don’t let apathy set in.

Stay Razom.

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