Local RV company donates use of factory to provide aid to Ukrainian refugees
ELKHART, Ind. -- Thor Industries purchased a brand new factory in Poland back in January-- but as tensions rose between Ukraine and Russia-- instead of using it to build RVs as originally planned-- they're using it to help those who have no choice but to leave their homes.
Nearly four million Ukrainians, mostly women, children and the elderly, are grabbing what they can and are getting out of their homes as the Russian bombardment hits more cities.
Thor Industries COO Todd Woelfler said his Elkhart based company could not stand by-- as the Russian invasion of Ukraine began to displace millions.
“We immediately identified this as a potential opportunity for us to help out and to address some of the needs of the refugees as they fled Ukraine," said Woelfler. “Timing is almost always everything. We had the facility and we had the space and we had the opportunity to provide some relief.”
Thor Industries donated the use of a brand new, three-hundred and fifty-thousand square-foot manufacturing facility in Nowa Sól, Poland, to the Red Cross, to become a staging area, providing food and humanitarian supplies to Ukrainian refugees-- and they're also providing some of that aid.
“We’ve purchased materials, equipment like refrigerators, and donated cash directly to the Nowa Sól operation at our facility, so we’re basically funding that effort," said Woelfler.
He added that he was thankful the immediate response to their efforts had been positive-- and using this factory as a staging area is just the first first step in continuing to provide aid to Ukrainian refugees.
“We are prepared to continue to support in any way that we can," said Woelfler. "And we’ll continue to monitor what other opportunities that we have. We’ve got operations throughout Germany and now refugees are starting to move pretty heavily into Germany as well as Poland. I’m sure opportunities will continue to arise and when they do, we will seize them.”
Woefler said Thor Industries will continue to fund the relief efforts at their factory in Poland as long as the refugee crisis continues.