Chautauqua County Woman Drives Supplies Into Ukraine, Brings Refugees To Poland

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RZESZOW, POLAND – We’ve showed you how people from all over the world have dropped everything to go to Poland to help the refugees. Our crew in Poland came across a Chautauqua County woman who is also stepping up to the plate. 

“I’m gonna do it because I haven’t had any problems doing it,” said Sally Naetzker Baer while driving a van near the Poland-Ukraine border.

Naetzker Baer lives in Chautauqua County, New York. She helps runs a gift shop inside an Ashville store, but now her job looks a bit different. She’s in Poland driving military vests and relief supplies into Ukraine. She estimates she’s brought in roughly 100 military vests into Ukraine and is eager to deliver more.

“The number one thing asked for in Ukraine is a military vest, number one, and then medical aid,” said Naetzker Baer.

She never returns to Poland empty handed. She’ll fill her van with as many refugees as possible, but she can’t recall as to how many she’s helped escort over the border.

“We take people from L’viv, they come from for example Mariupol to L’viv because they’re safe,” said Valentyna Fipinova. “So they come to L’viv and we take those people and we come to Poland so we just help people, that’s all.”

Naetzker Baer is getting some help from Fipinova and her husband. Both are from Ukraine but are living in Poland. They’ll meet up at an eastern Poland hair salon to coordinate their plans for the day before they head out. Sometimes Fipinova, who is seven months pregnant with her first child, will help make runs with Naetzker Baer.

“I feel good I’m happy I’m with my baby and my baby will come in two months,” said Fipinova. “He not make for me any problem he will go with me for a drive or something like that I go rest and he push me and goes ‘mamma no rest, you need to help people more.’”

Naetzker Baer essentially has two roles here in Poland: the first is transporting supplies and other materials. The second is a humanitarian side: bringing back Ukrainian refugees over to Poland and making sure they have a place to stay. Naetzker Baer has helped place more than 28 refugees, including kids, in this makeshift home. For privacy reasons we’re not showing the Ukrainian refugees but she said they are still working to furnish the place.

In the van with Naetzker Baer, she said all of this relief work just falls into place.

“We’ve made relationships with not intentionally, none of this is intentional, it’s kind of like this God giving thing just floating above that makes this all come together in my opinion,” said Naetzker Baer.

Our crews in Poland will continue their coverage of the refugee crisis. Naetzker Baer is also raising funds to help pay for the gas for their supply van as well as helping furnish that house for the refugees.


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