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Two orphanages in Ukraine getting help from Austin-based business amid invasion

Most of the orphans are infants and about a third of them have special needs. They have enough supplies at the moment, but Mark Davis is concerned for the future.

AUSTIN, Texas — As Russia continues to attack parts of Ukraine, so many children are caught up in the conflict.

An Austin-based business consultant is helping a client, who runs two orphanages in Ukraine.

Mark Davis runs a nonprofit called Abundance International, which helps support government-funded orphanages in southern Ukraine.

Davis is currently in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, and he's scared, to say the least. 

"I'm shocked beyond belief, and I have people ask me that. 'How do you, you know, what is it like?' And I go, 'Compared to what?'" Davis said.

Although he's worried about his safety, he's also worried about the orphans, who are some of the most vulnerable in the area.

"We've been supporting and caring for these kids, about 200 of them, for the last 10 years," Davis said. "These little kids don't understand war, you can't explain it to them. So you have to treat it like you would on a day with loud thunder and lightning and just try to be as nurturing and compassionate as you can," Davis added.

Most of the children are infants. About a third of them have special needs. Davis said they have enough supplies at the moment, but he's concerned for the future.

"I freaked out yesterday, and when the bombs started coming, I went to Adam," Davis said.

Adam Lyons is a business consultant in Austin and Davis is one of his clients. 

"We had to make sure that Mark would have funding available to continue to provide for the orphans," Lyons said.

After he got the call from Davis, he created a GoFundMe account

"Even though his two orphanages have about 200 children between them, his reach extends further into the almost 100,000 orphans in Ukraine," Lyons said.

Davis said he has more questions than answers about what will happen but he said they have to be ready to take care of kids in need if government funding drops out amid this crisis.

"If we really achieve our goal, we can start looking to ask the other neighborhood orphanages, 'Hey, what are you going to need?' And let's be the one to step up for them," he said.

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