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Oct. 7, 2022

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Clark County organizations ramping up aid for Ukraine

Churches, nonprofits collecting funds, medical supplies to send abroad

By , Columbian staff writer
Published:

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, Clark County churches, nonprofits and other organizations are ramping up efforts to provide support for Ukraine and its roughly 2 million refugees who have fled to neighboring countries.

Here are some ways local organizations are providing support and how you can help.

On Thursday, Vancouver-based Riverview Community Bank announced a $10,000 donation it made to the Ukrainian American Cultural Association of Oregon and Southwest Washington, an organization providing financial support and supplies for Ukraine.

According to Denise Barr, Riverview vice president, the donation will be used by the organization to purchase and fly much-needed medical supplies to help with humanitarian aid for Ukraine. The flight is scheduled to leave the Northwest on Monday. The donation will also help the group assist refugees in Poland and Romania, primarily women and children crossing the border.

The hope is that the donation will inspire similar giving throughout Clark County, Barr said. The donation itself was inspired by Riverview Community Bank Branch Manager Alex Moskal, a Ukrainian Vancouver resident and vice president of the Ukrainian American Cultural Association of Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Moskal has been working tirelessly to provide support for his home country, and his daughter is living in Poland helping to provide temporary housing for refugees.

“We are very encouraged and grateful for the outpouring of support and concern for our efforts,” Moskal said. “I am very proud of Riverview Bank’s donation.”

Donation boxes

Riverview Community Bank has also set up donation boxes for the Ukrainian American Cultural Association of Oregon and Southwest Washington at multiple branch locations. To find a branch with a donation box near you, visit Riverviewbank.com.

The Ukrainian American Cultural Association of Oregon and Southwest Washington is planning additional flights to Ukraine that will include clothing and other needed supplies, Moskal said.

He thanked the Oregon-based nonprofit Medical Teams International for donating medical supplies and U.S. Rep. Jamie Herrera Beutler, R-Battle Ground, for her support of the organization’s efforts. He said the group has received an outpouring of support from across Clark County.

“This is not a war against the Ukrainian army; it’s a war against Ukrainian civilians,” Moskal said. “Many thousands are dying, many children and moms. A donation can help save lives.”

He asked that people interested in supporting Ukraine donate to the Ukrainian Association of Washington State, an organization assisting Ukrainian refugees that works directly with the Ukrainian American Cultural Association of Oregon and Southwest Washington. Donations can be made at UAWS.org.

Standing with Ukraine

Two Clark County churches are coordinating efforts to deliver financial support to churches in Ukraine.

Ukrainian Baptist Church recently sent donated funds to churches in Vinnytsia, Kharkiv and Kyiv that are working to feed, clothe and relocate refugees on the front lines, Pastor Paul Demyanik said.

Donations to the Ukrainian Baptist Church mostly come in the form of small donations from local churches and Clark County residents wanting to offer support. Last week, an elderly man came to the church to donate $25, a gesture that touched Demyanik’s heart.

“People around the world, they see our suffering, and they try to help us,” he said. “I’m thankful for everyone praying with us and standing with us and working with us to offer support.”

Church of Christ the Savior is working to provide financial support for two church associations in Ukraine and Moldova, where there are currently 250,000 Ukrainian refugees.

“We also help other Ukrainian churches, mostly doing financial support,” said Russ Nikolaychuk, a spokesman for the church. “One of our pastors and his grandson actually just went to Poland to provide support.”

Those interested in supporting Church of Christ the Savior’s efforts can visit its donation page — which was created by multiple local churches — at ccslive.org.

“All funds will go toward Ukrainian people, not necessarily in Ukraine but to refugees in the surrounding countries,” Nikolaychuk said.

Both Ukrainian Baptist Church and Church of Christ the Savior are working with the Ukrainian American Cultural Association of Oregon and Southwest Washington to consolidate their efforts.

‘Prepared to welcome and serve’

Lutheran Community Services Northwest is gearing up to resettle Ukrainian refugees in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

“It is our mission to continue welcoming those who face repression in foreign lands,” David Duea, the organization’s president, said in a statement. “We expect to receive more Ukrainian refugees over the coming months and years. Our Vancouver district received 32 individuals from Ukraine in the first week of February alone. We will be prepared to welcome and serve.”

To support Lutheran Community Services Northwest, visit lcsnw.org.

The Vancouver-based Windermere Foundation recently set up a donation page at secure.qgiv.com/for/ure. Contributions made on the site go toward three organizations providing direct aid in Ukraine: Save the Children, Global Giving and World Central Kitchen. Donations will be distributed equally among the three organizations.

As of Friday morning, $21,213 had been donated on the page.

To learn more about organizations providing support in Ukraine, visit www.cfsww.org/take-action-show-support-for-ukraine.

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