Vancouver pastor organizes thousands of dollars in aid to Ukraine

Feb 28, 2022, 2:01 PM | Updated: Mar 1, 2022, 7:42 am
Ukraine aid...
A child collects toys near a clothes donating point as refugees fleeing conflict in Ukraine arrive at the Medyka border crossing in Poland on Feb. 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)
(AP Photo/Visar Kryeziu)

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has continued, the Ukrainian community in the Pacific Northwest has rallied to send aid to their home country.

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That includes efforts from a collection of Ukrainian churches, led by Vancouver, Washington, Pastor Paul Demyanik, who moved to the United States from Ukraine just as the Soviet Union was falling in 1991.

Pastor Demyanik’s father-in-law and brother-in-law both still live in Kyiv, with the latter distributing bread to the Ukrainian Army out of a small bakery. In Washington state, Demyanik helps organize efforts among 12 separate local churches, with each choosing a region in Ukraine to provide assistance. Already, they have received a $25,000 donation, while others have given upwards of $10,000. That money is sent to connections in Poland, who use it to buy supplies and send them east across the border.

“They have money to buy stuff, clothes, and especially food,” Demyanik told KIRO Newsradio’s Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin. “It’s really big support, I can’t believe it.”

“We are standing united,” he added.

Local Ukrainian-Americans scared for loved ones amid Russian invasion

For anyone looking to help, Demyanik says donating money is the most effective way to provide assistance, given the amount of time it takes to ship physical items like clothes and food. Donations can be given directly to the Ukrainian Baptist Church at 7321 Northeast 110th Street, Vancouver, WA 98662.

This comes after initial attempts at peace talks between Ukraine and Russia stalled out Monday. Meanwhile, Ukraine has sought to solidify its ties to Western Europe with a request to join the European Union.

Russian troops have continued to lay siege to the capital city of Kyiv, while fighting has raged in several outlying areas across Ukraine.

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Vancouver pastor organizes thousands of dollars in aid to Ukraine