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Palm Coast Wednesday, May 11, 2022 1 month ago

Sheriff and Bike Men of Flagler County donate bicycles to Ukrainian refugees

The FCSO also shipped 21 surplus bullet resistant vests and 11 helmets to support the Ukrainian military.
by: Guest Writer

by: Ashleigh Taylor

Public Affairs Officer, Flagler County Sheriff’s Office

A couple of kids who recently fled Ukraine with their mothers got a welcome gift from Sheriff Rick Staly and the Bike Men of Flagler County. The four of them have only been in Palm Coast a few weeks but already feel at home. They left Ukraine with just a couple of suitcases. Now, they have some new bikes. Staly joined Joseph Golan, The Bike Men of Flagler County, to give Timur, Masha and their mothers bikes late last week.

Courtesy photo

Golan says he was contacted by Staly after a neighbor reached out to the sheriff about the kids being new to the area. The neighbor saw them moving into a nearby house. Turns out, it was their uncle’s house they were moving into. The four of them will stay there indefinitely.

However, their dads stayed in Ukraine to fight for their country. Staly was able to tell the family he would be donating bullet-resistant vests and helmets to the Ukrainian military. The vests are out of warranty and can’t be reissued to FCSO deputies but are still usable. FCSO shipped 21 vests and 11 helmets last week after the National Sheriff’s Association sent out a plea to Sheriff’s Offices across the country to provide surplus vests and helmets to the Ukrainian military.

Courtesy photo

“Getting to see the looks on Timur and Masha’s faces when they received their bikes was just priceless. They’ve been through so much the past few months and they are still in good spirits,” Staly said. “As for the vests FCSO is donating, I’m glad to be able to help and show support in any way we can. The process to destroy out of warranty protective vests is complicated so I’m glad we are able to donate them to a useful cause.”

The National Sheriff’s Association reached out to Sheriff’s Offices across the country seeking donations of surplus protective gear that could be used by the Ukrainian military forces. The vests are expected to reach Ukraine in a couple of weeks.

Staly’s life was saved early in his career when the vest he was wearing stopped a bullet to his chest, so he knows first-hand just how important a vest can be.

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