Sun City mother talks about son’s work in Ukraine providing humanitarian aid

While she admits it’s difficult to be away from him, especially during Christmas, she’s incredibly proud of the work he’s doing.
Published: Dec. 24, 2022 at 10:03 PM MST
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SUN CITY, Ariz. (3TV/CBS 5) — A Sun City mother and pastor has been following the developments in Ukraine closely. The country has been at war since February after Russian forces invaded. It was after news of the war broke son decided to travel to Ukraine to help in any way he can. Her son, a former UPS driver, remains in Ukraine on the front lines, on a solo mission to provide humanitarian aid. While she admits it’s difficult to be away from him, especially during Christmas, she’s incredibly proud of the work he’s doing.

“Massive destruction. A lot of people are evacuating—if and as possible,” says Sheryl Campbell’s son, Brad Hendrickson, in a video of him narrating and walking people through what he’s seeing and hearing from those in the middle of this war zone. “I had to dodge a head on collision with a vehicle a few days ago and frustrating, it happens,” he says in another video.

Hendrickson has been there since April. He saw the images of war and felt called to help. The former UPS driver has been using his skills to deliver supplies and rescue people. He documents much of it on his Facebook page, Bakhmut Brad. It’s named for the city where he’s done a lot of his work. Bakhmut had been home to 70,000 people. But now, he says only about 10,000 remain. He doesn’t speak Ukrainian, but over Facebook video chat, he told Arizona’s Family that he uses Google Translate. “It’s hard and necessary work,” he explained.

“He just felt somebody has to do something,” Campbell says, well aware of the risks. “He tries to be careful but he’s not afraid to go toward the danger if that’s what it takes to rescue someone, excuse me to save a life, he’s done some of that.”

Campbell said she’s talked with the congregation about Hendrickson’s work. “Some of the early donations included a bulletproof vest and other kinds of shrapnel protecting things,” she said. “They are just glad that someone is doing something.”

Hendrickson said Russia is weaponizing winter, attacking Ukraine’s energy grid and threatening civilians. “It’s a curiously focused and lopsided amount of pain that is localized pretty intensely along the eastern rim,” he explained.

This mother and son speak often over Facebook messenger—both relying on their faith. “Not that we have a wish for anything to go wrong but if it does we’d say he did what he was supposed to be doing. He was glad to do it and I can be at peace with that too,” Campbell said.

Hendrickson continues to collect donations. Here’s a link to how you can help: Bakhmut Brad | Instagram, Facebook | Linktree