Ukrainian war widows whose military loved ones died in 2014 when Russian troops took over Ukraine’s Crimea region have been providing aid to those on the front lines defending the country for the last several weeks against Russia's latest attack, saying they have "nothing left to lose."
These war widows and their families are part of a nonprofit called Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) Ukraine. It's a peer-based support program that for the past seven years has been dedicated to helping families grieve the deaths of their fallen heroes.
The program was created in 2015, after Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine's Donbas region began an armed conflict, and modeled after the U.S.-based nonprofit Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors.
"These are the families of Ukraine's fallen heroes from 2014, they've lost their loved one, and they now are in the fight of their lives defending the land that their loved ones died for," TAPS founder Bonnie Carroll told Fox News Digital.
Since 2014, more than 14,000 Ukrainians have been killed while fighting for their country, according to TAPS Ukraine. Since Russia’s invasion began on Feb. 24, that number continues to grow.
Over the past four weeks, TAPS Ukraine has been providing care for the Ukrainian Army, National Guard, National Police and internally displaced people in the city of Dnipro, where many of the surviving families have spent the past seven years "healing their own hearts," Carroll said.
The team has been providing hot meals, medicine and housing to more than 10,000 people daily while working to meet the needs of the Ukrainian army.
Team members are essentially assisting anyone who needs their care because "everybody is in the fight for freedom," Carroll added.
It's no easy task with the threat of war surrounding them.
"You don't know at any moment if that rocket attack is going to end your life, you're just living with that moment to moment," Carroll said.
However, their determination is unparalleled, she explained.
"They said they have nothing left to lose what's most precious to them. Their loved one has already been taken from them," she said. "They're not going to let their land be taken now."
While the war persists, TAPS International will continue to collect funds that will be sent directly to TAPS Ukraine to support its efforts.
"I'm getting the most beautiful messages that this support is not only making a difference in their ability to fee people and tend to the wounded, but it's also just filling their hearts to know that we have their backs," Carroll said.