County worker retires, heads to Poland to help Ukrainian refugees

WVUA 23 News Student Reporter Giselle Hood

After spending months witnessing the devastation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine through his television screen, retired Tuscaloosa County Public Works employee George Berry decided to do something about it. He booked a one-way ticket overseas and for the next four weeks, Berry will distribute clothes and do logistics planning in Krakow, Poland, for the Norwegian nonprofit A Drop in the Ocean.

“I just wanted to be able to help in some way,” Berry said. “I retired a few weeks ago and felt like there was an opportunity. I can’t do much, but maybe I can help a little.”

Berry is no stranger to volunteering and has worked with local organizations including Samaritan’s Purse. He said he felt drawn to the Ukraine conflict after his retirement.

“They’re being displaced terribly,” Berry said. “They’re having to leave homes with just what they can carry with them. Not even having a home to go back to. Putin’s bombed that place and pretty much tearing it down to the ground. I can’t even imagine what that’s like.”

Berry said he hopes he’ll return to Poland again in next year, and is requesting financial support. You can visit his Go Fund Me page. He encourages others in the community to help as well, whether through hands-on volunteering or simply fundraising for the refugees.

“They’re hurting,” Berry said. “And they need help.”

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