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Dozens of Ukrainian refugees fleeing into Poland got a ride from this Portland man

Since March, Hunter Baldridge has transported more than 100 Ukrainian refugees into Poland.

PORTLAND, Oregon — A Portland man just returned from his second trip to the Ukrainian border where he helped drive refugees fleeing from Ukraine into Poland.

“It's just a very chaotic situation in Ukraine right now,” said Hunter Baldridge, 23. “They need as much support as they can get.”

On his five-day trip in mid-April, Baldridge and a colleague covered around 4,500 miles transporting 65 people into Poland. They drove them to hotels, the train station and the airport where they dispersed to other countries.

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“A lot of them asked us, ‘Why are you helping us?’” said Baldridge. “When we tell them where we're from, they’re like, ‘You came all the way from America to help us? That's amazing,’ When we were able to give them the money we got from donations and put that into the hands of the refugees we transported, they would say, ‘Thank you so much.’ Others would tear up and give us hugs.”

Baldridge's friends and family raised $20,000 after his first trip to the border in March. He's currently a graduate student in Spain, but said he couldn't just let the money sit there.

“We felt like a lot of these people donated specifically to get this money in the hands of refugees so we decided we should go back, do the same thing over again,” Baldridge said.

As fate would have it, during Baldridge’s second trip he ran into a man he’d helped on his first trip to the border. The man had come from Ireland to take up arms with Ukrainians in battle. On that first trip, Baldridge drove him from an airport in Poland to Ukraine.

RELATED: Vancouver man returns home from helping refugees on Ukraine-Poland border

“He ended up fighting at the border there,” said Baldridge. “We transported him out, this time. We were able to convince him to leave and said 'hey, you gotta get out of there, you did your time, you helped out as much as you could. Now it's time to get back home, get to your family.' We were able to give him a celebration when he left.”

Baldridge said he wouldn’t be returning to Ukraine anytime soon as he refocuses on his studies.

“We're still in school here in Spain,” said Baldridge. “Our professors have been very understanding.”

Baldridge hopes that anyone who's able will donate to reputable nonprofits with people still working in Ukraine. Those he stays in touch with told Baldridge that another wave of refugees is coming through, after recent bombings in Lviv.

“This definitely isn't over yet,” said Baldridge.

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