Long Island man born in Ukraine starts donation drive to support his homeland

A Long Island man who was born in Ukraine and adopted by an American family started a local donation drive to help his homeland amid the Russian invasion.

News 12 Staff

Mar 7, 2022, 10:33 PM

Updated 771 days ago

Share:

A Long Island man who was born in Ukraine and adopted by an American family started a local donation drive to help his homeland amid the Russian invasion. 
Thomas Birkhoff, of West Islip, is originally from the city of Kharkev, Ukraine, which is near the Russian border. He was adopted by a Long Island family in West Islip when he was 12 years old. 
As Russia’s attack on his homeland continues to unfold, Birkhoff says the city he once lived in is now unrecognizable.  
“It's sad, it makes me really emotional,” he says. 
Birkhoff says the devastating images of Ukraine inspired him to start a humanitarian relief effort in Suffolk County.
“To see how generous people are…for people they never met…most people don't even know where Ukraine is and people are sending things my way,” he says.
Birkhoff has drop-off spots located at Chonky Cookies in Lindenhurst, the West Islip Fire Department, Lions Den Bar and Grill in West Islip and the Copiague Fire Department. 
He has more information about how you can donate online on Facebook.
Diapers, gauze and toothpaste are some of the critical supplies needed. 
“People have been phenomenal with monetary and physical donations. I can't keep up with everything,” Birkhoff says. 
 Birkhoff says he sorts through all the donations in his garage before driving them down to New Jersey, where a parcel company flies it out to Poland and eventually to Ukraine.
“My end goal is to restore peace in Ukraine and help as many people as I can,” he says. 



More from News 12