Utah County lawyer travels to Ukraine to help anonymous donor find 500 families to support

Utah County District Attorney David Leavitt speaks during a news conference in Provo January 23, 2019. Leavitt is traveling to Ukraine to help an anonymous donor select 500 families to support for an entire year. (Kristin Murphy, KSL)

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PROVO – Utah County District Attorney David Leavitt travels to Ukraine to help an anonymous donor select 500 families to support for an entire year.

“He wants to be generous, but he doesn’t necessarily want the credit for it,” Leavitt said.

Find 500 families to support

To help with this generous donation, Leavitt will be on the ground in Ukraine trying to identify these 500 families. Once families are identified, Leavitt says Visa gift cards will be provided to each family for immediate financial assistance until bank accounts can be opened.

“Really what we’re trying to do is humanize what’s going on in people’s lives,” he said.

Leavitt is more than familiar with the war-torn country; it’s almost a home away from home for Leavitt and his wife. For 14 years (2004 to 2018), they worked on legal reform efforts in Ukraine as part of the Leavitt Institute for International Development.

“Our role was to teach jury trial and American criminal law at 35 law schools across Ukraine and Moldova,” Leavitt said.

While there, the Leavitts made many friends and even have a home there.

“kyiv is as much a hometown for us as Provo or Salt Lake,” he said.

Second trip to Ukraine

This is the second trip to Ukraine this year for Leavitt. He says he was there just before the Russian invasion to take care of some personal family matters, concerning their house.

“And now we’re going back to help our friends and other refugees,” Leavitt said.

The process of identifying the families who will be supported represents a colossal undertaking.

“We take requests and hear stories and try to identify people who have lost everything,” he said.

However, getting to Ukraine will not be easy. Leavitt says he will first fly from Salt Lake City to Amsterdam. From there it will fly to Romania and travel overland to Ukraine.

Leavitt says he accepts donations, and it can be done by clicking here.*

*KSL.com does not guarantee that money deposited in the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons designated as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit into the Account, you should consult your own advisers and proceed otherwise at your own risk.

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