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Cascade woman travels to Romania, helps families fleeing Ukraine

CASCADE, Colo. (KRDO) -- A Southern Colorado woman is on her way to Romania to help families fleeing Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Lynn Milburn Lansford has spent her life doing humanitarian work all over the world -- from Haiti, India, even Romania once before. With a one-way ticket in hand, Lansford leaves Colorado Monday to be of service in Romania again.

“I don’t know when I’m gonna be back," Lansford says. "I’m gonna stay as long as I’m needed."

Lansford is taking several suitcases worth of supplies with her to Romania. In them are notepads for families to write down information they will need as they cross into other countries. She's also taking coloring books, dolls, toy cars, and stress ball relievers for children. Additionally, she's toting medical supplies, COVID-19 tests, socks, hats, and hand-warmers for Ukrainian soldiers.

Over her years of assisting with humanitarian aid in Europe, Lansford says she developed more than friendships -- but family, once bringing loved ones to the United States. It is those same people who will help Lansford when she lands in Romania. Upon arrival, she says she is purchasing a van meant to hold seven, laying the seats down, and driving as many people and pets that will fit in the van across the Ukraine border into Romania.

Lansford says the idea came around her 65th birthday. She and her husband were watching the news when her husband suggested she should go.

"[Ukrainian news] had mentioned that they needed drivers to take people from the border to either the trains, to through the cities, to wherever they needed to go," Lansford says.

One of her main focuses is transporting the elderly. While many have made it to outside countries like Moldova, some are still in war-torn parts of Ukraine. 

"They would like to join their families that are elsewhere but they can’t," Lansford says. "They’re either in wheelchairs or they’re sick. They are out of Ukraine, some of them, not all of them."

Lansford says Ukrainians and Romanians are similar, in their "education, food, language, culture, and generosity." While her mission differs from the work she has done overseas before, she says she cannot stand by.

"These people need everything that we can possibly do for them... because they are so much like us," Lansford says.

If you would like to donate directly to Lansford's efforts, click here for her GoFundMe.

To follow Lansford's efforts overseas, click here to join her Facebook Group, Ahimsa Ukraine.

Author Profile Photo

Natalie Haddad



  1. “I don’t know when I’m gonna be back,” Lansford says. “I’m gonna stay as long as I’m needed.”

    Just might be coming back in a box.

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