Medical equipment, especially machines for vacuum therapy of wounds and external orthopedic fixators, has been the cornerstone of our fundraising since April. We are deeply grateful to the manufacturers Stryker, Zimmer, and Genadyne Biotechnologies, whose representatives went above and beyond to enable us to send these specialized, much-needed medical devices and supplies to Ukrainian doctors. Since the need is greater than the UNWLA alone can meet, we worked with other Ukrainian American organizations who were able to purchase additional medical devices and supplies at the discounted rate we negotiated with manufacturers. Our goal was to ensure that the transportation of purchased medical equipment from the manufacturers to hospitals in Ukraine went smoothly. The equipment was GPS-tracked on its way to recipients; we worked with chief doctors and heads of military medical services and hospitals to check and record the delivered equipment. Fully 100% of the equipment sent to these hospitals was received and immediately put to use, as confirmed by the numerous photographs, texts, and messages we received from Ukraine.
It is worth noting that the UNWLA continues to respond to the needs of healthcare workers in Ukraine as an official partner of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. Our immense gratitude, as always, goes to our trusted partners: The Paul Chester Children’s Hope Foundation, TOETAL Podiatry in NY, Stryker, ROC Maidan (Rochester, NY), Ukrainian Orthodox Holy Ascension Church, WBLL Ministry Atlanta Georgia, UNWLA Branches and Regional Councils, and many other amazing individuals and corporate donors who enabled much-needed aid to reach Ukrainian hospitals.
Read more: UNWLA Medical Response to the War in Ukraine
Losing a home, toys, and stability can traumatize any child. Over the summer, we worked with non-profit organizations in Ukraine to support the recuperation of Ukrainian children, especially those orphaned or displaced by the war. Our membership mobilized its efforts to provide funding for summer camps for children from the orphan care center in Lviv, as well as in the Carpathians and the Kyiv region. Combined, these efforts not only funded summer camps for little Ukrainians but also contributed to their educational and developmental needs. In addition, the Childhood Without War initiative raised $34,700 to finance accommodations for orphans evacuated to Antalya, Turkey.
Read More: UNWLA Supports Recovery of Ukrainian Children
Our help also encompasses logistics, paperwork, and other support tasks for Ukrainians who recently came to the U.S. using the United 4 Ukraine program. For example, our Branch 3 recently facilitated scholarships for 7 Ukrainian children, aged 6 to 15, who recently settled in Arizona to attend Camp Tuku. Small acts of kindness and a positive response from the local community indeed make a profound impact.
We reported earlier on the UNWLA’s support for the evacuation of the Harmonia medical center in March and of persons under the care of the charitable organization Otchyi Dim. We also provided monetary support to orphanages in Kherson, Brovary, and Nizhyn, as well as to the charitable organization Misto Dobra in Ivano-Frankivsk, which stretches its capacity to help displaced and socially vulnerable women, children, and the elderly. Additionally, we continue supporting families of fallen and wounded war heroes in Ukraine.
In June, we also purchased 80 boxes of food as part of the Food Boxes for Ukraine program organized by Meest. Many requests for wholesome food were coming from orphanages, so we focused on sponsoring children’s food boxes; each box sustains a child for two full weeks.
Over $105,000 was donated to AICM, the largest humanitarian multi-platform covering Ukraine’s north, center, and east. This support enables the organization to help 75,000 people per week. Numerous AICM deliveries provide people with essential items and supply hospitals and other medical institutions with medical equipment, medicine, and other necessities. Recently, AICM became the first organization to reach the hardest-hit regions of Kharkiv, which were being shelled non-stop. Much-needed supplies were distributed among people who had spent several months hiding in their basements.
Our response to the war in Ukraine extends to preserving Ukrainian culture. The full-scale Russian invasion halted many cultural industries, including cinema. Since Russia aims to destroy Ukrainian statehood and denies Ukraine’s independence, rich cultural heritage, and history, we felt an obligation to fuel Ukrainian cultural resistance. In cooperation with the Association for the Development of Cinematography in Ukraine, the UNWLA received the rights to organize screenings of Ukrainian films throughout the U.S. Proceeds from the screenings supported humanitarian aid for members of Ukraine’s film industry, which as a result of the war has come to a complete standstill.
Read More: 7 Ukrainian Movies to Watch: UNWLA Co-Sponsors Relief Efforts To Ukrainian Film Industry
One of the most important initiatives of the UNWLA Advocacy Committee is the Sister Cities program, which aims to break the diplomatic “sister” ties between cities in the U.S. and Russia and forge new connections between the U.S. and Ukraine. The ongoing effort has already yielded some preliminary results, which we will share in the next installment of the UNWLA Reports series.
In addition to our work on the Sister Cities program, we have been taking part in multiple public advocacy events that put pressure on elected officials to support legislation to aid Ukraine and raise awareness of Russia’s ongoing military brutality in Ukraine.