Bethenny Frankel took action to help Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion.
On Thursday, the day the takeover began, Bethenny, 51, announced she was preparing to send supplies to NATO countries bordering Ukraine through her B Strong organization.
The Frankel Organization committed to distributing $10 million in aid, but announced Friday that it has now increased its target to $20 million.
Making a Difference: Bethenny Frankel Takes Action to Help Ukrainians Fleeing Russian Invasion
The former Real Housewives of New York star has documented the relief effort on her Instagram account, posting videos of boxes packed with supplies by members of her B Strong team and her warehouse full of countless boxes.
Frankel updated fans in real time about the situation in various videos posted on her account.
In her latest update, Bethenny revealed that her team is primarily working with women and children as young people are being asked to stay in Ukraine to defend their country.
“In fact, we are dealing with women and children at the border in Poland. We just had a case with a woman whose husband was pulled out of the car, he was taken away because he is Ukrainian, and men cannot leave, and therefore he never held a weapon in his life, and now he is a military man.
‘We’re really dealing with women and children’: Frankel updated fans in real time on the situation in various videos posted on her account.
“So she is passing with her family and we have to send her family to Spain where she has a family because she has no family in Poland.
“So now a lot of money goes to individual cases and families through bank cards and plane tickets. So first we’re trying to raise money, first just $100,000 for these families to try and get them where they need to go. This also happened during Hurricane Maria, when people needed to return home in different situations.
“But we deal mainly with women and children, unless the men are young people.
She also opened up about her $20 million goal in another video posted Friday.
“Our team is in Poland and will reach the Budomiezh-Khrushuv border … in an hour and a half.
‘It’s a Crisis’: The former ‘Real Housewives of New York’ star has documented the relief efforts on her Instagram account by posting videos of members of her B Strong team packing boxes of supplies and her warehouse full of countless boxes.
“Every ten minutes, a family runs away and comes right up to that border. We have pledged to provide assistance in the amount of 10 million dollars. These are 40 humanitarian aid containers worth $250,000 each. Now our goal is to help in the amount of 20 million dollars, which is 80 containers.
“If this becomes a mass exodus, it will require 100 containers, which we did before, we did this during hurricanes Maria and Irma.”
Speaking to People, Bethenny said her organization can act quickly as they already have a warehouse filled with $16 million in aid.
‘We can be really fast’: Speaking to People, Bethenny said her organization can move quickly as they already have a warehouse filled with $16 million in aid.
“Here we can be really fast,” she told People. “We are very immediate because we already have a warehouse that is filled with $16 million in aid.”
The aid includes 100,000 crisis kits containing essentials including blankets, sleeping bags and water.
Frankel told People that her organization has begun shipping kits to Poland, where they will set up refugee camps and distribute supplies by Monday.
The containers being shipped contain $250,000 worth of aid donated by partners such as Goya, Delta and Away.
“This is what people will need immediately if they are relocated. Only basic, basic needs,” Bethenny said of the supplies being sent.
Early Thursday morning, Russian forces launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in what is considered the most aggressive move by Moscow since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.
By the end of the day, the Ukrainian government claimed that 137 civilians and military personnel had been killed. Several explosions rocked Kyiv early this morning as Russian forces continued their offensive.