Ukrainians in Grand Rapids providing humanitarian aid

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — West Michigan is supporting humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine by making donations and sending medical supplies to the country.

Ukrainians living in Grand Rapids have joined efforts to help.

Veronika Pleune has a grandmother and aunt in the country who have not been able to leave.

“They’re running out of food just like everyone else because they’re hiding in the woods and you can’t get out so there’s no way to get food. Cities can’t even get food, how can you get food to the remote areas,” Pleune said.

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Her mother, Oleksandra Soltinskiy, says it has meant sleepless nights worrying for their safety.

“I was waking, see the news or texting. They are ok. They are alive,” Soltinskiy said.

Pleune and her sister wanted to do more to help with the efforts with relief, so they started ordering medical supplies to send to the country and put out a call to friends and family on social media.

“I’ve been contributing and donating to things but I didn’t feel like it was making an impact because I didn’t know where it was going, so we wanted to do something,” Pleune said. “So we actually set up an Amazon gift registry.”

The family attends St Michael Ukrainian Catholic Church in Grand Rapids, which has collected money that is being sent to its diocese. Nearly $13,000 dollars has been given to the church so far.

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Father Roman Fedchyk says he appreciates the support and those praying for peace.

“It’s our first goal to be strong in our faith to believe,” Fedchyk said.

If you would like to donate to the church, you can mail checks to the following address and make a note that the donation is support for Ukraine:

St Michael Ukrainian Catholic Church
154 Gold Avenue NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

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