Minnesotan launches charity in Ukraine to help civilians impacted by war

As the war in Ukraine wages on, Ted Bechtold is doing his part to help, one delivery at a time.

"There's this huge world event going on. I want to do my part to help out...everybody can do a little bit," said Bechtold.

The St. Joseph, Minnesota, native had just finished up a stint teaching English in Ukraine when Russia invaded in February. After spending some time volunteering at a refugee camp in Romania, he returned to Kyiv about two weeks ago.

Along with a fellow teacher friend, Bechtold is now launching a charity called Atlantic Aid, providing supplies to civilians in some of the hardest hit areas and towns near the Russian border.

"A lot of them have been occupied by Russian soldiers for 6, 7 months. Now, they are finally free, so they need help," said Bechtold.


In recent days, he's seen tensions escalate firsthand, especially in the capitol city.

"We had bombings Monday and Tuesday here. We've had drone attacks almost every day...they are trying to hit the power grid system or the geothermal plants in Kyiv trying to disrupt the infrastructure," said Bechtold.

But those threats aren't stopping him from making deliveries of food, medicine, and essentials to those who need it most. 

"We go out Saturday and Sunday every weekend. We make 25 packages and each package weighs about 30 to 40 pounds," said Bechtold.

For now, he says he is committed to staying overseas as long as he possibly can.

"If the bombing gets worse, maybe I will have to pull out," said Bechtold.

If he does have to leave, Bechtold has made connections in Ukraine to ensure his mission continues.

If you would like to make a donation to help Bechtold's efforts, you can make a donation via his PayPal account at bechtoldted@yahoo.com or in person at Magnifi Financial in St. Joseph.