“I will not let these people down”

In late September, Rachael Ray told me about her next trip to Ukraine, the latest of several visits she’s made to the war-torn country since it was occupied by Russia last February.

On Thursday, December 15, The Rachael Ray Show (2:00 p.m./Ch. 7) will devote its entire hour to Ray’s Thanksgiving week visit to Ukraine, while cameras recorded what she saw—and who she met, helped and listened – as the country moves into the cold winter months, while the war is still raging.

“It was beautiful and tragic and heartbreaking as always,” Ray said. “It’s already so bitterly cold there… and right now we’re hoping we can raise money to buy the gear they need to get through the winter with temperatures below 20 so they can keep fighting.”

Ray made several stops during her time in Ukraine, including meeting Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi and returning to St. John Bosco, the country’s largest orphanage and trade school, to teach cooking, which she helped build.

Photo of Rachael Ray helping a child, maybe 9 or 10 years old, at a cooking class in Lviv during her visit to Ukraine.
Thursday’s “Rachael Ray Show” will document Ray’s visit to Ukraine during Thanksgiving week.
Courtesy of The Rachael Ray Show

“The mayor stayed with us in central Lviv for hours so he could share his presentation for ‘Unbroken,’ a program he’s been working on for almost a decade now,” she said. “It’s a plan to combine a huge medical center and marry it with a specialized shelter to treat child victims of war and people of all ages for PTSD and the psychological consequences of losing their productive, happy lives and… Its offset to treat psychologically.

“There are also trauma centers and a state-of-the-art orthopedic center,” she said, “and a maternity center for mothers expecting newborns and for all people who have lost limbs — and rehabilitation centers for plastic surgery specialists held to by the war.” to rebuild and reconstruct broken people.”

Ray also spoke about her efforts to help Ukrainian soldiers and civilians, working with the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America to provide them with necessary materials and medical equipment.

“Basically, I buy and pack first-aid kits for front-line troops — male, female, old or young,” she said. “[The kits] have 17 components, all to NATO standards…they have tourniquets and a gel that allows enough blood to flow to the wound after the tourniquets are tied so they don’t lose organs or limbs; it buys them a bit more time.”

Photo of Rachael Ray and a man standing side by side in a war house.  It's cold—Rachael is wearing a heavy sweater and winter hat—and they're packing supplies.
Ray helps pack supplies for front-line troops in Ukraine.
Courtesy of The Rachael Ray Show

She said medical equipment is also needed for toddlers and babies.

“For whatever reason, there is a tremendous number of children who have developed cataracts since the beginning of this phase of the war,” she said. “We have spent a lot of time in St. John Bosco and in hospitals and in the mayor’s office to gather more detailed information on what we need for our next trip there. At the moment the two big areas of focus are protective clothing for the winter months and the vision needs of the children at Children’s Hospital… specifically two machines that make it easier to remove cataracts from small items… and we’re working on that [getting equipment for] Treating tiny surgical wounds because they’ve never had gunshot wounds in babies before.”

Ray said she expects her next trip to Ukraine to be in early March.

“We have so much to film,” she said. “It’s going to be the longest I’ve been away from there… and it’s already freaking me out. I have nightmares about it. it haunts me Once you’re in, you’re in. I’ve met so many thousands of people and nurtured so many thousands that it’s a part of me now – I can’t turn it off.

“I’m a person of service and have been since I was 12,” she said. “This is who I am and who I will be until I’m gone. That’s why I was born. I’m a citizen of the world and that’s all I want to be; everything else is gravy. I love doing television shows, but what I love most about our show is when we show people how many good works are being done by their neighbors and in their communities.

“I will not let these people down [of Ukraine],” she said. “I’m going to keep going there until I’m dead or it’s game over.”

https://nypost.com/2022/12/13/rachael-ray-on-her-ukraine-trips-i-will-not-abandon-these-people/ “I will not let these people down”

Emma Bowman

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