Our Team

Matthew Craig Charvat - Co-founder

Matthew Craig Charvat grew up in Patchogue NY. He was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout and  graduated from the Navy Lt. Michael P. Murphy Patchogue-Medford High School in 1989.  Craig then went on to Stony Brook University to study political science and graduated in 1994. After spending a few months backpacking through Europe, Craig was hired as a social studies teacher at Center Moriches School District, where he continues to teach. From an early age Craig has had a fascination with history, especially military history. His extensive knowledge of not just the causes, but also the terrible effects of war led him to co-found the nonprofit NY4UKRAINE shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine in February of 2022. Craig currently resides in the small beachfront town of Blue Point and spends most summers on Fire Island. He has traveled throughout Europe, including the Normandy Coast, famous for its WWII D-DAY beaches and the WWI battlefields of Flanders in Belgium. While fascinated with all things military, Craig also understands the terrible effects war has on innocent people, and through NY4UKRAINE he hopes to alleviate some of the suffering of innocent people caught in the crossfire.  

Christopher Winslow - Co-founder

Christopher Winslow is a history teacher and varsity lacrosse coach at the Center Moriches School District and an Ocean Lifeguard Supervisor for the Town of Brookhaven. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Oneonta and a Master of Science degree from Stony Brook University. Chris proudly served in the United States Marine Corps from 1992-1996 and 2001-2003.  He co-founded NY4Ukraine, in the spring of 2022, after watching the reports of the devastation and suffering of innocent Ukrainian children, women, & men that resulted from the full scale, unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. NY4Ukraine's first mission included a visit to Bucha. Experiencing the aftermath of  genocide and war crimes committed in Bucha first hand, strengthened Chris' resolve to continue to help the people of Ukraine. 

John Yackus - Director

John is a native of Glendale, Queens NY. He graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1973 and commenced a career as a commissioned officer in the Navy, spanning nine years active and fourteen years reserve service, as a Naval Aviator flying the P-3. John flew for a major airline for 32 years and held various management and union leadership positions throughout his career. He was an instructor Check airman on every aircraft he captained during this career. After retirement he was the SVP of Flight for Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology in Tulsa Oklahoma. Since his final retirement John has volunteered for World Central Kitchen, Team Rubicon and now NY4Ukraine.

“The need for the Ukrainian people to feel that people care and are concerned for their well being is paramount for this team and it is my personal mission. Non Sibi. “ 

Rob Zettel - Director

Rob Zettel is a former USAF fighter pilot as well as a recently retired airline pilot for a major U.S. airline, Rob’s involvement with NY4Ukraine started oddly enough with his volunteer work with the World Central Kitchen (WCK) in Przemysl, Poland in the Spring of 2022. Upon returning from Poland he knew he wanted to do more to help the people of Ukraine and their cause, next time, preferably in Ukraine itself. Through contacts at WCK he heard about NY4Ukraine and their efforts and was quick to volunteer to help in whatever way possible on their planned February ‘23 trip. Following that successful trip where he and the rest of the NY4Ukraine Team spent a week in Lviv, Ukraine, he’s ready to go back and is currently involved helping to raise funds in support of future trips. 

Bonnie Bredes - Technical & Administrative Support

Bonnie Bredes is Library Media Specialist at the Center Moriches School District. She holds Bachelor Degrees in Sociology and Art and Masters Degrees in Library Science and Systems Technological Management. Bonnie was moved to become involved with NY4Ukraine when Chris shared his desire and passion and  for helping the people of Ukraine with her.  After talking with Chris, she realized they needed technical support to get their website up and offered to create and maintain the NY4Ukraine website. She then started helping with administrative tasks as they were needed. Bonnie is honored to be able to be a part of  the NY4Ukraine team as they continue their humanitarian support for those affected and displaced by the war in Ukraine.