Konstantin Tartakovsky may have lived in the U.S. for the past 25 years, but his home has always partly been in Ukraine, where he spent his childhood.
Tartakovsky was 11 years old when he left his hometown of Kremenchuk, Ukraine. Much of his extended family, such as his aunt and uncle, still live in the country.
When the war with Russia broke out, Tartakovsky’s first thoughts were to his family, who lived just across the street from the mall that was attacked. His uncle and aunt were shopping in that mall just a mere three to four hours before the missile struck it, he said.
But in addition to supporting his family, Tartakovsky wanted to know what else he could be doing to help others in Ukraine.
As a firefighter of 17 years, having spent over 11 at the Meriden Fire Department, he knew that old firefighter gear could go a long way in the wake of bombings.