You are making a difference

HUOP is an award winning, rapid response humanitarian aid project established in the first days of the war by a group of experts and volunteers from Ukraine and the United States. Administrative costs are capped at 10% of funds raised. HU22 is laser-locked in on its “4R” mission:

RELIEF - We are organizing shelter and aid.  

RESUPPLY - We provide critical humanitarian supplies.  

RESCUE - We help people get to safety.

RESILIENCE - We are helping Ukrainians rebuilding their lives.

Help Ukraine/Operation Palynytsya is a humanitarian aid effort to fill gaps in immediate assistance for Ukrainians in need.

Our team is putting everything we have into helping Ukrainians affected by the war.


NGOs & Medical Institutions Supported

+ 4 200




$ 4,767,741

Value of Aid Provided

Our Team
Brian Mefford

Managing Director, Help Ukraine 22

Mefford lived and worked in Ukraine for 24 years and is the Executive Director of Help Ukraine Operation Palyanytsya (HUOP). He was named by the Association of Charities of Ukraine as a “Philanthropist of the Year” in 2023 for leading the humanitarian activities of HUOP. He has also been named by the Kyiv Post Newspaper as one of the 20 “Most Influential Expats in Ukraine”.

Mefford began his work in Ukraine in 1999 for the International Republican Institute (IRI) and worked more than a decade on democracy and governance programs. In October 2014, Brian became a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center think tank. Since 2016 he is the Director of Wooden Horse Strategies LLC which is a government relations, communications and public policy analysis firm based in Kyiv.

Born in Barstow, California, he is a graduate of Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Arkansas with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in Finance. He speaks English, Ukrainian, Greek and Russian.

Nancy Baker

Director of Operations

Nancy joined the team in the first days of the war coordinating supply shipments and supporting rescue operations. Nancy has a B.A. in History with a focus on US Multicultural History (Seattle University); M.I.T (Seattle University) with a focus in Secondary Social Studies Education and AIDS/HIV Education. She holds a MEd (University of Texas, Arlington) with a focus on English as a Second Language and Multicultural Literature.

Nancy has an international background in educational advocacy and policy including 10+ years in Central & Eastern Europe. She has previous non-profit experience within healthcare. Formally trained in a variety of health modalities, she also takes a great interest in educational psycho-social health for children. She wrote the first online gluten-free educational platform for chefs and food producers (GREAT). A proud mother of three, Nancy heads operational success and engagement initiatives in the US.

Tetiana Kovganych

Dr. Tetiana Kovganych, Medical Adviser

Dr. Tetiana “Tanya” Kovganych is the Chief Medical Adviser for Help Ukraine 22 – Operation Palynytsya. Dr. Kovganych has practiced medicine for 23 years and currently works at the SI NSC Institute of Cardiology named after MD. Strazhesko NAMS in Kyiv. For 8 years, Kovganych headed the rheumatology department at #2 KNP Oleksandr’s Clinical Hospital of Kyiv. She began her work at the Oleksandr’s Clinical Hospital in 2001. Prior to that she was a rheumatologist at the polyclinic #1 in the (formerly) Leningrad district of Kyiv.

She has her PhD. in medical sciences and her higher medical education in the specialty of therapy with a specialization in rheumatology. Tanya graduated from the First Medical Faculty of the NMU named after Academician O.O. Bogomolets in 1998 with honors.

She has published more than 20 scientific articles and is the author of one patent for invention. She has been participating in international clinical trials since 2004 and from 2017-2020 was a member of the expert group of the Ministry of Health ofUkraine in the areas of therapy, general practice – family practice, occupational pathology, rheumatology, and neurology.

Also, since 2017 she has been involved as an expert in the Standing Working Group of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine and DOZ in Kyiv on specialized support of public procurement for the treatment of patients with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

Finally, since 2020, Tanya is a member of group of experts in the Kiev City Executive body for health care in general practice, professional pathologies, rheumatology, gastroenterology and allergology. She is a member of the Association of Rheumatologists of Ukraine, Kyiv, “SLEuro”.

Maryna Antonova

Maryna Antonova, Humanitarian Adviser

Maryna serves as Chairman of the Board of the Ukraine 3000 International Foundation, one of the oldest charities of Ukraine that together with its partners distributed over $50 million USD worth of medical equipment, supplies, grants over the last 17 years. She is also Vice President of Association of Charities of Ukraine, an NGO that unites 70 charities in all regions of Ukraine. In addition, Maryna works as Government Relations Adviser for the US-Ukraine Business Council. During the time of President Viktor Yushchenko (2005-2010), Ms. Antonova worked as Chief of Staff for the First Lady of Ukraine, Kateryna Yushchenko.

Prior to this, Ms. Antonova worked 10 years as Program Assistant/Consultant for Barents Group/Bearing Point/Deloitte projects funded by USAID under technical assistance programs for the government of Ukraine. She has MA in Linguistics from the National Taras Shevchenko University, and MBA from International Management Institute of Kyiv.

Operations Team

We have a team on the ground in Ukraine and bordering countries bringing supplies into Ukraine and facilitating evacuations out of Ukraine. This team is well connected and is making meaningful progress. Due to se curity risks and the safety of our people, we keep the names and faces of the operations team confidential.

Vitaliy Zhuhay

Vitalii Zhuhai, Systems Engineer and Humanitarian Response Specialist, for the Committee for Open Democracy.

Vitalii is the Committee for Open Democracy's Humanitarian Response Specialist, working full-time to helpukraine22.org.

A Ph.D. student at the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv with German as the primary language and English as a secondary language, with one year of education abroad in Arlington, Virginia (USA), and half a year in Poland and Germany each, Vitalii has extensive multi-cultural, translating, and interpreting experience. He also has a background in the public sector, including his work with the Journalist Support Center NGO, environmental 'Mama-86' NGO in Ukraine, The 'Active Ukrainians in Europe' NGO in Sweden, and the Erasmus ESN network in Germany.

He successfully accredited and managed International Election Observation missions in 2020 and 2021 in Ukraine and was responsible for logistics and administrative support. In addition, Vitalii worked on a Ukrainian Youth PEA Analysis for IREX, involving multiple interviews across the country with data collection and reporting, and a similar project for an American Business Consulting company, The Cloudburst Group.

Apart from his expertise in linguistics and translation, Vitalii brings leadership, social media monitoring, animation, and logistics skills to the team.

Born and raised in Western Ukraine, Vitalii is a true patriot of his country and a representative of active youth, putting his skills and ideas into developing democracy, engagement, and civil society. You can reach

Vitalii at vitaliy@codukraine.org.

Taras Byk

Taras is from the Western Ukrainian city of Lviv where he studied International Relations at the Ivan Franko National University. Besides, he spent one academic year at the Queen Mary University of London. In Lviv, Taras worked as a journalist and in 2006 he moved to Kyiv where he worked for 3.5 years at the Secretariat the President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko and then went for internship at the European Commission in Brussels. Afterwards, for 8.5 years, he worked with the International Republican Institute on the development of democratic practices all over Ukraine and in 2019 joined Wooden Horse Strategies as political and business consultant. During 2021, Taras was Head of Advisory Board to the Mayor of Rivne.

When the Russia has launched Big War on Ukraine, Taras stayed in Kyiv helping Territorial Defense and Armed Forces as a volunteer and has worked on humanitarian assistance projects. Then, he joined military volunteer formation under the Territorial Defense of Kyiv and undergone military trainings. However, volunteering and providing humanitarian support has remained one of key areas of activities of Taras.

Ivan Bachynsky

Ivan Bachynsky, humanitarian worker.

Ivan joined the project as a humanitarian worker in February 2022.

Born in Kharkiv, Ukraine, he graduated from Kyiv-Mohyla Academy with master’s degree in political science. During his university days, he interned within the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine (Ukrainian parliament) in the Committee of National Security and Defense. After university Ivan started his career in the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine in the communications team. After that, he spent two years in the international technical support project implemented by Pact Inc. and funded by USAID as a communication person for the whole project. Ivan also has the experience of a PR coordinator in a PR firm, as well as the experience of internal communications and PR specialist for Ukraine’s biggest producer of mine-safety equipment.

Ivan is currently a Communications Director with Wooden Horse Strategies LLC, a boutique government relations and communications firm in Kyiv.

Mykhailo Shcherbakov

Shcherbakov Mykhailo, 28 years old. He graduated from the Kyiv National Aviation University, after 6 years of study he received a bachelor's and master's degree in the specialty: management of foreign economic activity and management of organization and administration.

Since 2014, I have been engaged in my own business in the field of trade and provision of food services.

I have been working at WHS since 2015.  Since 2022, I have been working as a humanitarian worker for COD and HU22.

T-shirts "Why?"
T-shirts "Say Palyanytsya”
T-shirts "Say Palyanytsya/Скажи паляниця”