On the ground: Helena woman reports on medical aid efforts in overseas trip

Editor’s note: This is the first email the Independent Record has received from Hands On Global Executive Director Valerie Hellermann of Helena, who is delivering medical aid and offering comfort to people in Ukraine and Syrian refugees living in Hatay, Turkey, on the Syrian/Turkey border.

She is making her fourth trip overseas to areas in need since Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. She left Helena on Sept. 4 and plans to spend five weeks overseas. This email from Hellermann arrived 11:28 p.m. Thursday.

Portions of this report have been edited for clarity.

The Middle East is in turmoil: earthquake in Morocco, floods in Libya.

The devastation from the February 2023 earthquake in Turkey and Syria is really unbelievable, Valerie Hellermann of Helena says.

Valerie Hellermann, Hands On Global

It has changed our plans a bit as medical first-response teams in Turkey needed to leave for those new disaster zones. Our team split up.

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