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Ontario Man Travels To The Polish Border To Rescue A 7-Year-Old Girl From The Ukraine War

The 22-year old is on a mission to find his friend's orphaned sister.

Toronto Staff Writer
GoFundMe page for Wyatt Raitt.

GoFundMe page for Wyatt Raitt.

Wyatt Raitt, a 22-year-old student from Hamilton, has travelled to the Polish border with Ukraine in the hopes of rescuing his friend's seven-year-old orphaned sister from the Ukraine war.

Raitt told Matt Galloway on CBC's The Current on March 10 that his friend put out a call for help on Snapchat and Discord asking for someone to help his sister escape the conflict.

"He messaged out on Discord and Snapchat originally. He said, 'Hey, this is my situation. I'm heading towards Kyiv and then to the border. Can any of you guys help out and look after my sister?'"

The 22-year-old stepped up to the call despite having never met the young girl and having "a few interactions" with her brother while he was at school in Ottawa.

"For a few months, I hung out with and partied with and did stuff with [him], and he did a lot of stuff which helped my life immensely."

Raitt says his friend plans to drop his sister off at the border and return to fight in the war against Russia.

However, they are worried that he "might lose his sister in the system." Their father died a few years ago, and their mother is no longer in the picture; therefore, Raitt says it's been a challenge trying to get the proper legal documentation for him to bring the little girl back to Canada.

Hurdles ahead

Raitt's friends and father set up a GoFundMe page to help with the expenses of his rescue mission three days ago, and so far, they have raised over $4,000 of their $10,000 goal.

Unfortunately, due to the girl's parental situation, the student from Hamilton may face some legal issues in getting her back to Canada and finding her a safe living situation.

"Without the mom in the picture, legal documentation has become very difficult to work through."

In addition to the legal issues of their hand-off, Raitt has lost contact with his friend in early March. He now plans to spend his time volunteering at the border while he waits for his friend to show up.

Raitt says he and his friend agreed on two days for the meetup — however, he acknowledges it could take his friend longer to get there, so he was planning on waiting for "at least a week."

"There's not much we can do beyond put out a sign with their names on it and hope that they see it, and then maybe we can sit down wherever we are, and we can get through all the legal documents that we need to get through to get his sister properly out and anywhere safe."

Raitt says he knows he's "flying blind," but he has to do something to help his friend.

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