GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – One local company is pitching in to help the people of Ukraine, with much more than just supplies. Their idea has wheels.
R Enterprises, an ambulance refitting company based in Greeneville, Tennessee, ends each of its staff meetings with a prayer. One day, the overwhelming prayer request was one for the people of Ukraine, who had been ripped from their homes or pulled to the front lines of war.
“About two weeks later we had a gentleman walk in named John Rolland, and he had just gotten back from Ukraine on medical mission work, and was looking to buy an ambulance,” said Mark Brannen, general manager. “And that just started the conversation.”
Rather than build and sell the rig, the team at R Enterprises chose to donate one of their own trade-ins to the cause. A 4×4 Ford E-450 is no small thing to move, even without an ambulance rig attached to the back, but it’s slated to begin its journey through another organization’s efforts Wednesday afternoon.
To help make sure the ambulance saves as many lives as possible, the crew at R Enterprises are filling the vehicle to the brim with medical supplies. With a full pallet donated by Samaritan’s Purse, Brannen said the team is even more excited to ship it overseas.
For one member of the project, however, the work wasn’t just about “over there.”
“Being far away from Ukraine makes me feel helpless,” said Ella Pavlyuk, a Ukrainian-American with family still inside the country. “So I’m trying to help however I can from the distance. This is the least I can do, to get involved in projects like that, and it’s been a great experience working with these people.”
Pvlyuk, a resident of Asheville, used much of her time in community work long before war broke out in her home country. Now, she’s putting those skills to work helping out those in need thousands of miles away.
Serving mostly as a translator and liaison between American and Ukrainian organizations, Pavlyuk helped pave the way for R Enterprise’s first foray into the war. While plans are not set yet, more units may be rebuilt and prepared for aid in the future according to founder and operator Jay Roths.
“It’s one unit, and on the one hand you can say it’s just only one,” Roths said. “But it is one, and one can make a difference. And so when it is that people are contemplating what they can do, and they’re thinking that they’re only one, they are one. And they ought to do what’s on their heart to try to be helpful.”