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Fairfield County police departments donate body armor to Ukraine fighters

The donations include more than 200 previously used ballistic vests and helmets from several Fairfield County police departments.

FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — Fighters in Ukraine will have some help from the Fairfield Police Department and other departments around Fairfield County

The department announced Tuesday that it will be donating body armor to Ukrainian fighters as the war with Russia continues. 

The donations include more than 200 previously used ballistic vests and helmets from several Fairfield County police departments.  

Police departments that joined the effort included the Brookfield, Darien, Easton, Greenwich, Monroe, Norwalk, Stratford, Trumbull, Wilton, Westport and Western Connecticut State University police departments.

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"As public safety professionals we're dedicated to protecting and serving those in our communities, but it's truly an honor and privilege of ours to be able to assist in protecting those thousands of miles away in Ukraine," said Fairfield Police Chief Robert Kalamaras. "We hope that with this donation of much-needed gear, Ukrainian civilians will have the vital protection needed throughout the ongoing war."

The collected body armor will be donated and shipped to the Ukrainian American Coordinating Council (UACC) which has been vetted by the U.S. government as an appropriate donation point for Ukraine, according to Kalamaras.

It's not the only thing Connecticut is doing to help the people of Ukraine during the war. 

RELATED: Support continues to pour in for Ukraine at benefit concert

A West Hartford preschool teacher gathered supplies at her home to send to mothers and children in Ukraine.

Yelena Pasternak created an Amazon wish list for items like baby blankets, diapers and portable cribs, and the items came flooding in.

She’s working with two other moms in Cromwell to put together emergency care packages. She said Cromwell resident Olena Stetskiv has relatives in Ukraine helping put this together and Danielle Libera Tencza offered up her dance studio to store items in. 

The group will send the items over to Poland and from there, volunteers will drive the supplies on trucks and buses into Ukraine to deliver to hospitals.

Just two weeks ago, the group in Cromwell sent a shipment of 300 boxes to help Ukrainian mothers; the items were gathered in just two days.

Polish-American organizations in Connecticut held a charity concert at Trinity on Main in New Britain on March 13. Organizers said around 400-500 people attended.

The event featured live performances from musicians, classical singers, and choirs, along with dances from traditional Polish and Ukrainian folk groups.

Ukrainian churches across the state have also been at the center of relief efforts for war-torn Ukraine, but St. Michael's Ukrainian Catholic Church in New Haven may have one-upped the others.

Yale New Haven Health (YNHH) is donating $1 million of medical supplies to the Ukrainian relief efforts, but the wife of the priest at St. Michael's says the hospital is responsible for much more.

Iuliana Godenciuk says injured Ukrainian soldiers, connected to families in the church, were brought to New Haven for treatment at YNHH.

RELATED: Woodstock Academy to host students displaced from Ukraine

Jennifer Glatz is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. She can be reached at jglatz@fox61.com.  

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