As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, the humanitarian crisis also continues to grow. According to Rebecca Deczynki’s reporting for Inc., the United Nations estimated that 1.7 million refugees left Ukraine in the first days of the war. Millions more have fled since into Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Moldova.
Long Island supports Ukraine
Long Island citizens, churches, and organizations have joined an international movement to provide aid to the refugees. In Bethridge, Northwell Health sent 18,000 pounds of medical supplies immediately following Russia’s invasion. Nataliya Wachs from Lindenhurst, organized funds through Royal Reality Homes to provide refugees with warm clothes, jackets, and hats.
Ukrainians in Long Island
Many Long Islanders have family connections to Ukraine. Stefan Soloviev of the Soloviev Foundation donated $1 million in memory of his Ukrainian grandmother: “What Putin has done to Ukraine and its people is an atrocity. I felt I had to do something, and this donation is my way of helping the people of Ukraine and honoring the memory of my Ukrainian grandmother.” Stefan Soloviev recently returned to Long Island after the death of his father, Sheldon Solow. So Soloviev reorganized his father’s companies and investments into the Soloviev Group.
Ukrainians thank Long Island for their solidarity
Colonel Volodymr Schcherban, from the United Nations’ Permanent Mission of Ukraine, stopped recently in Long Island to rally support. At a fundraiser for Doctors Without Borders, Schcherban shared his gratitude for Long Island’s support: “Ukraine doesn’t stand alone. Your actions have shown that people all over the world are compassionate and kind enough to [help] the brave people of Ukraine. And Ukraine will never forget your support.”
Kateryna Lyman, a Ukrainian currently living in Long Island also shared her thanks, “It’s horrible. I don’t wish my enemy to go through what we have now … Please, help us, and we are very thankful for everything”. Oleh Dekajlo, president of the Long Island chapter of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America thanked all the individuals, organizations, and businesses for their continued support of the Ukrainian military and refugees.
How you can help
As the war drags on, the humanitarian crisis triggered by the Russian invasion has fallen out of the headlines. Help is still needed for medical supplies, temporary housing, emergency transportation, and food. As winter approaches, food and housing shortages are likely to make the crisis even worse. To see how you can help, contact Oleh Dekajlo at the Long Island chapter of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America. Other Long Island organizations collecting donations include the Razom for Ukraine or My Sinai.