UKRAINIAN VILLAGE — A new website is gathering information on relief efforts, events, rallies and other initiatives organized around the Chicago area to support Ukraine.
Ukrainegiving.info was recently launched by Jeff Chapman, a Clarendon Hills resident who wanted to make it easier for people to support Ukraine after finding it challenging to do so earlier this year.
When Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Chapman was eager to contribute to aid efforts. But he didn’t know where exactly to go, or which organizations to trust.
Eventually, he made a donation through the Selfreliance Credit Union, a Ukrainian bank based in Ukrainian Village. But Chapman wanted to streamline the process for himself and others.
“I’m in the Chicago area, and I wanted to give some money to support Ukraine. I’m not Ukrainian, but I wanted to help them financially. And I didn’t know where to go,” he said.
Chapman also kept hearing about rallies and other events to support Ukraine after the fact in the news, when it was too late to attend them.
So, with the help of a few other volunteers, Chapman launched Ukraine Giving to act as a central hub to find events and fundraisers across the Chicago area, as well as charities and nonprofits on the ground in Ukraine.
“I just got the idea that wouldn’t it be great to put a website together to alert people in advance for some of these issues,” Chapman said.
Events on the website’s calendar include big dollar fundraisers, golf events, benefit concerts, and bar meetups. All of them share the central mission of raising money for Ukraine.
Chapman said he finds the events from various online sources, but is also encouraging people to add their own. Anyone hosting an event or fundraiser can submit information here.
The website also includes a list of more than 60 agencies working to organize aid efforts in Ukraine. The groups range from well-known nonprofits like Doctors Without Borders to smaller ones based in the Chicago area. Chapman has included links to information about each organization’s finances, so donors can vet them before giving money.
For Chapman, Ukraine Giving is a way to keep the war in the public conversation, more than three months after Russia’s invasion. He likened the situation to the 1930s, when Hitler was rising to power and the world failed to act.
“I think that’s the ultimate question: Why should Americans care? And if we believe in what we say, if we believe in democracy, then we have to be helping the Ukrainian people,” he said.
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