Southwest Florida philanthropist hoping to bring humanitarian aid to Ukrainians

Published: May 12, 2022 9:58 PM EDT
Updated: May 12, 2022 10:29 PM EDT

A mission of mercy and hope, a Southwest Florida philanthropist and humanitarian is about to take a trip that will change a lot of lives.

Jack Nortman says his next adventure is about humanity. As a young boy, he was a refugee, his parent’s survivors of the holocaust.

Nortman says it’s the images of the children that stuck with him and he knew he had to do more. He said he finds parallels between his life and the lives of so many Ukrainians.

“Watching the refugees brings back deja-vu memories,” said Nortman.

Nortman was born in a displaced persons camp. “I don’t particularly remember being a refugee because I was a child but I feel it,” Nortman said.

Images from the war in Ukraine connected with him and tugged on his heart so he donated.

“It’s just it didn’t feel like it was enough you know we gave money and then we went back to Naples and looked at our window and looked at the gulf so it wasn’t enough,” said Nortman.

He’s heading to the Poland-Ukraine border this summer.

“I’m looking for someone to help us that’s either got an airplane that’s deadheading back to Chicago or even if they’re going to Chicago,” said Nortman.

He wants to get to Chicago to get certain items to where Nortman and his family are flying out.

Items like vital medical supplies and hundreds of handmade blankets for kids.

“Something to give them a little warmth a little smile,” said Nortman.

Another thing sure to bring smiles, “Some of the cards that these kids wrote boy you get faith in humanity these kids care,” said Nortman.

Students from Southwest Florida, Chicago and Minneapolis wrote heartfelt messages to people they may never know.

The notes will go to children who have been displaced.

Nortman is also looking to get a retailer or company that can help donate large amounts of underwear and bras for women and girls who left everything behind in Ukraine. He said he is also still looking for someone who can the items to the Poland-Ukraine border.

If you would like to donate and help Nortman’s cause, you can do so by clicking here.