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This Quad Cities nonprofit is bringing drinking water into Ukraine. Here's how you can help

Mercy Waters aids disaster sites with fresh drinking water. Now, one member is coordinating driving water into Ukraine by the truckload.

EAST MOLINE, Ill. — The Quad Cities-based nonprofit Mercy Waters aids disaster sites by providing fresh drinking water.

"The Bible talks about us giving mercy by giving water," said Mike Gray, the creator and executive director of Mercy Waters. 

Gray's daughter Erin Kristoffersen has worked for the nonprofit since it started back in 2011.

"Erin's my daughter, and she's a wonderful daughter at that. She lives in Denmark," said Gray. "Although she's way on the other side of the ocean, she is still a big part of Mercy Waters."

So when disaster struck Ukraine — Kristoffersen immediately searched for ways to help.

"I was actually ready to drive to Ukraine," Kristoffersen said. "I told my husband, I said, 'You better prepare yourself, you're gonna have to take the kids, I'm gonna drive you crazy. I'm gonna fill up our car with refugees.'"

RELATED: Russia pounds eastern Ukraine as West promises Kyiv new arms

That's when Kristoffersen started searching for others to help her out. 

"I met Maryna because I walked into the warehouse one day and said, 'I have this crazy idea. I would like to send a bunch of water, who do I talk to?' And she’s like, 'We'll figure it out.'"

Maryna and her group, which translates to "Save Ukraine" had occupied a warehouse in Denmark. That's when she informed Kristoffersen they were in need of water.

"I talked with Mercy Waters about it, and if they could get me donations directly, then I would be able to mobilize water from Denmark to Ukraine," Kristoffersen said.

RELATED: Russia hits rail, fuel facilities in attacks far from eastern front in Ukraine

Gray immediately started collecting donations in the Quad Cities and sending them over to Kristoffersen in Denmark.

"It was one week after the war had started," Kristoffersen reflected on packing the first truck for shipment. "Maryna had a whole group of volunteers and everybody worked in unison and you know, had a whole line where we just took all the bottles of water."

It takes about 22 hours to get from Denmark to Ukraine. But, entering a war zone is never easy.

"Russians, they follow where the trucks are going they follow. If we post a picture where the refugee group is receiving this water, they'll go look for that group," said Kristoffersen.

Gray not only sends donations to Denmark for the groups to purchase bottled water but ships water filtration systems for the soldiers to use. The systems can clean water from any source.

But, there is a price tag on aiding war-torn cities. Each shipment costs about $500 dollars.

"Anyone who has the right mindset, anyone who wants to help anyone who's willing to take action, you can do it. And when we stand together we stand stronger," said Kristoffersen.

Both Mercy Waters and Save Ukraine's mission runs purely off donations. As long as the money is there — they will continue bringing truckloads of supplies into war-torn cities. 

You can donate to Mercy Waters' cause by clicking/tapping this link.

Catch up on more Ukraine news by clicking/tapping here or subscribe to News 8's YouTube channel

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