RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Lifting heavy weights is Jared Allen’s comfort zone. It’s what he’s used to as a personal trainer at Chisel Studio in Raleigh, but the weight of the devastation Ukrainians are experiencing was a new challenge for him.

“I just packed up bought a plane ticket, figured I’d find out when I got there. I was a little nervous of course just not knowing the entire situation, but I just knew that I needed to go it was just something that I had to do,” said Allen.

Allen flew into Warsaw then rented a van to drive to the village Medyka. He said he read an article about huge waves of Ukrainians entering Poland there. He found other Americans on the ground and got to work.

“Found a group to plug in with and started constructing flooring for warming huts and hospitals. There’s just a lot of makeshift stuff going on down there. I think a lot of people think there’s government and NGO’s that are really running this refugee operation, but what I found was it’s a lot of small groups a lot of individual volunteers.”

Allen shared multiple pictures with us from his trip. He said he was able to buy supplies with the nearly $10,000 he raised before leaving.