It was a Saturday morning in Kyiv in March 2023. Just days earlier, the Russian invasion had reached its grim one-year mark. Dillon Carroll ’20 and Mark Kreynovich ’20, BS ’19, were observing a different, though directly related milestone: the one-year anniversary of their arrival in Eastern Europe, in an impromptu effort to aid Ukrainians impacted by the conflict.
“There’s not one family that has been untouched by the war,” observes Kreynovich—stressing that in addition to the physical violence and infrastructure damage, people’s day-to-day lives have been enormously affected. “If you are not yourself actively involved in it or living in a population center that is directly impacted, then your cousin is fighting, or your uncle is fighting.”
Carroll, who majored in history in the College of Arts & Sciences, and Kreynovich, an ILR grad, are best friends and former Cornell roommates; they were even born on the same day in February 1998. The aid organization they founded, originally known as Mission to Ukraine, is now called MissionTo.Org (M2U for short), and has raised more than $600,000 for relief-work projects. Much of their past year has been spent in hands-on relief work—procuring, sorting, packing, and delivering medicine, food rations, and other crucial supplies across the country.