UTAH

Brigham City man uses time between work gigs to help refugees in Ukraine

Apr 5, 2022, 5:00 AM | Updated: 9:44 am
refugees Ukraine...
Solomon Smith, from Brigham City, is helping replenish supplies for the Ukrainian war relief effort. He is pictured here with his wife Tamara and their children. Photo credit: Tamara Lynn Smith

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah — As war continues to claim casualties in Ukraine, a Brigham City man — currently between Hill Air Force Base job assignments — is spending all his time in Poland lending a hand to relief efforts as refugees pour over the Ukrainian border.

Meet Solomon Smith

Solomon Smith is a father of four, husband, brother, and soldier in the Utah National Guard. Smith’s wife, Tamara Lynn Smith, said at first the idea of going to Poland did not strike Solomon as ideal. It was only after their 9-year-old son insisted he go and do what he is trained to do, that Solomon and Tamara knew he would have no other choice.

“We wanted to help and couldn’t figure out how to help, and it was actually my idea,” said Tamara. “I think he was thinking about it, but I was the one who actually suggested it. Then we talked about it with our kids. Our oldest, Mark, wanted his dad to go.”

Tamara said Solomon is trained for just such a mission, having been to Africa to work with the Peace Corps, and having twice been commissioned to Afghanistan.

Solomon can go where others can’t or won’t go to help refugees in Ukraine

Tamara said Solomon is in a unique position to help. Although he won’t go into combat zones, Tamara said he has been relying on contacts made with Polish and Ukrainian clergy for places to stay in order to help deliver supplies. She said relief agencies such as UNICEF and the Red Cross can only offer supplies to certain areas, mainly populated ones, leaving other areas in need.

“All these millions of refugees who are leaving these large cities under attack, have to travel all the way across (Ukraine) before they hit that border and leave. So between when they leave their home and when they cross the border with Poland, there’s no support for them,” said Tamara.

Tamara said that’s where Solomon comes in — by helping to bridge that gap with supplies and running medicine and food to smaller towns whose stores and clinics are in desperate need. It didn’t take long for local ministers, pastors, teachers and medical clinic workers to contact Solomon with specific orders of much-needed supplies.

On those days he makes the trek into Ukraine loaded with supplies from his post in Poland, he will often spend the night at a local clinic or church he has helped along the way.

“We’re playing it by ear”

There is no timeline for Solomon’s return from Poland, although his job working with Hill Air Force base is scheduled to return in May. Tamara said there are many unknowns, including the changing needs of the continuous flow of fleeing refugees.  She said some others who are helping to bring in supplies or to transport the many refugees of war have only a limited time to stay.

Related reading:

Utah

Hatch courthouse...
Kira Hoffelmeyer

Utah’s longest serving senator, Orrin Hatch, dies at 88

Orrin Hatch, Utah's longest serving senator, has died at age 88.
5 months ago
Pictured here are items seized from one of four drug busts authorities in Carbon County conducted o...
Mark Jones

Carbon County authorities make significant drug busts

Authorities in Carbon County, with a search warrant, have conducted four drug busts over the past three weeks.
5 months ago
...
Mark Jones

Soap box derby set for Saturday in Daybreak

Daybreak will host the second annual Soap Box Derby on Saturday from noon to 3 p.m.
5 months ago
State street traffic sign...
Samantha Herrera

State Street traffic restrictions starting soon

State Street traffic restrictions are slated to start soon and continue into August. Work will impact areas downtown and near the Capitol.
5 months ago
Garth Brooks Salt Lake...
Simone Seikaly

Garth Brooks sells out second Salt Lake concert in 45 minutes

It was the second time in less than a year that Garth Brooks sold that many tickets for a Salt Lake City concert so quickly.
5 months ago
A Smith's recycling bin...
Devin Oldroyd

Recycle single-use plastic at your local Smith’s

In honor of Earth Month, Smith's Food & Drug is encouraging its customers to recycle thin-filter plastic materials at their local stores.
5 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Prescription opioid...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
...

Tax Tuesday: The Most Common Mistakes People Make When Filing Their Taxes

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: How will last year’s child tax credits affect you?

Fortunately, for most average earners, they will not end up owing overpayments received for the Child Tax Credit in 2021.
...

Tax Tuesday: Key Information Before the Filing Deadline

Businesses can receive a credit of up to $5,000 per employee in 2020 and up to $21,000 per employee in 2021.
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Brigham City man uses time between work gigs to help refugees in Ukraine