NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — In the past few days, Russia has been bombarding Ukraine with missiles – targeting the country’s power grid.

One local charity, Mission to Ukraine, has been working in Ukraine for the past 25 years. Its work has only increased during the war.

Mission to Ukraine board member Debbie Butler just spent 12 days in Ukraine and came back right before those widespread missile attacks.

”We had two air raid sirens a day, every day we were there,” Butler said.

Mission to Ukraine works with people with disabilities in Ukraine. Butler has been helping that mission for the past 22 years. Their work has become even more important during the war.

”Most of these kids would never survive trying to evacuate and they can’t survive in a refugee camp or something like that so they have to stay,” she said.

On this trip to Ukraine, Butler came with a group from Virginia called Alternative Path Training School.

”We go in with specialists who deal with, check on and kind of stabilize kids with severe and profound disabilities in trauma situation like a war,” Butler said.

Butler and this team worked with more than 40 local Ukrainians who work for Mission to Ukraine and have throughout the war.

”Our doors have never closed and these people just keep working and working,” Butler said.

This was Butler’s second trip to Ukraine during the war. She went back in July and said she noticed more signs of war.

”I saw those military checkpoints now are higher and about three times wider,” she said. “I was told that’s because they’re preparing for a possible ground invasion.”

Each time an air raid siren would go off Butler and the people she were with would have to make a decision.

”When the sirens go off they can check where’s the closest shelter and make a decision, is it worth trying to find a shelter or do you just stay in place and wait to see what happens,” Butler said.

Butler got home just days before Ukraine was hit with a barrage of missiles including in Zhytomyr where Mission to Ukraine is based out of.

”This week they were hit with two missiles and the city went black,” said Butler.

On Tuesday a missile also hit Poland killing two people. Initial reports said it was a Russian missile but now Polish leadership and NATO said it’s believed to be a Ukrainian missile used for air defenses. 

”When there is a lot of stuff in the sky, some of it is going to fall down in the wrong place,” said Padraic Kenney, an IU Professor of History and International Student. “In this case it fell down onto Polish territory in a very tragic end.”

Kenney he’s confident Ukraine will win the war and is hearing reports Russia is running out of missiles.

”We could look back at this moment and say actually this was another moment that showed just how weak Russia and the Russian military effort is,” said Kenney.

Mission to Ukraine Executive Director Steve Boles said for more than two decades they’ve donated medicine, diapers, food and more to help Ukrainians. During the war those efforts have skyrocketed.

”These past eight, nine months of the war we have brought in 80 tons,” Boles said. “So more than we’ve done in the past 25 years, just in these past nine months.”

With winter coming to Ukraine and war continuing they’re also focusing on cold weather gear.

”The cold is going to be a real issue over the next three to four months,” Boles said. “Russia has been hitting power stations all throughout the country. Just yesterday there were 100 missiles that came from Russia into Ukraine, mainly targeted at heating electricity and water.”

Butler said she has checked on her friends in Ukraine since the missile strikes and they’re doing fine. Their power is back on.

If you would like to help the Mission to Ukraine, you can donate on the charity’s website.