Newsletter #17: We are approaching 100 days of war

We are back!  This week will be 100 days since the invasion, that has felt like it’s been 100 years.  So let’s gear up for the next 100 days together.  Moving forward, our weekly newsletter will land in your inbox every Tuesday morning updating you on Razom’s work and impact and sharing ways you can support Ukraine.  Now is the time to double down on those efforts. 

Dear Razom community,

As we take stock of the last 100 days of war in Ukraine to prepare for the next 100, we are immensely grateful for your support on this journey.  It’s not about one person doing everything, it’s about everyone doing something.  So over the next couple of weeks, we want to share stories of those people, of you, because they remind us of our power to make change possible and keeps us working hard towards Ukraine’s victory If you’d like a chance to be featured, please respond back to this email sharing your contact information and 200 words on something you did to support Ukraine.  

In the meantime, here’s what Razom has been up to:

  • The Hospitals Team continues to accept and coordinate in-kind donations from generous individuals and organizations across the U.S.  One example (of many) is Iya Labunka, a Ukrainian-American who lives on the rural island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.  She went to the CEO of her tiny local hospital (Martha’s Vineyard Hospital), to ask if they could donate any medical supplies for the war effort in Ukraine, and boy did they deliver.  They were able to use their buying power to supply us with 1,200 pounds of trauma related medical supplies off of our needs list such as tourniquets, bandages, stop-bleed kits, needles, and IV starters.  
  • The TacMed Team procured 10 high-end portable ultrasound machines by Sonoscanner which have already been distributed to 10 different hospitals across western and eastern Ukraine.  Below is a video of how it’s being used at a hospital in Kyiv!  
  • We’ve shipped over 43,000 IFAKs to Ukraine and below you’ll find a few of them in the hands of our end users like police units, territorial defense units, emergency responders, and many more.
  • In partnership with Smart Medical Aid, Razom hosted an open master class on first aid titled “Let’s start our hearts together” in front of the Opera House in Lviv.  Hundreds of Lviv residents and guests took part in the class, including the Head of the Lviv Regional State Administration Maksym Kozytskyi and leader of the rock band Okean Elzy, Sviatoslav Vakarchuk.  As part of this initiative, 50 defibrillators will be installed in different cities across Ukraine (including main railway stations) to help save more lives.  

Razom also awards grants to smaller organizations in Ukraine that work with internally displaced persons or those Ukrainians needing help in recently liberated areas or hot spots of the war.  Razom’s Grants team sources and vets these organizations and volunteer groups in order to help provide hard-to-reach populations with food, water, hygiene products, and basic necessities.  Here’s a spotlight on a few of the 38 we’ve issued grants for thus far:

  • Charitable fund Zarady Tebe (“For You”) was awarded $25,000 to fund their projects aimed at improvement of the living conditions of the most vulnerable segments of the population (lonely elderly, people with special needs, and children at risk), with attention paid to the inter-confessional and inter-ethnic dialogue.  Their grant was focused on delivering food packages to the elderly in Kyiv and Chernihiv oblasts.
  • Charitable fund Z Poklykom V Sertsi (“Call of the Heart”) was awarded $30,000 to deliver humanitarian aid to small towns close to the frontline of the war or newly liberated small towns.  Oftentimes they are the first aid assistance that these people receive.  

Meanwhile the Razom Advocacy team has been hard at work stateside and accomplished the following in the past three months: 

  • Over three dozen meetings with senators, members of Congress, Congressional offices, policy advisors and experts, and established think tanks.
  • Over half a million dollars-worth collected in donated digital and print ad space to urge the public to “support and supply Ukraine” and close work with renowned journalists such as Anne Applebaum to set up interviews in Ukraine and a number of Razom’s own texts published. 
  • Over a dozen ethnic, religious, and human rights organizations represented at our White House press conference where Razom announced the creation of an American Coalition of Ukraine in addition to regular coordination calls held with over a dozen national and regional Ukrainian-American advocacy groups. 
  • A Congressional briefing held and sponsored by the Ukraine Caucus (and three more on the docket). 
  • Dozens of one-pagers, memos, reports, and presentations prepared for Congressional offices and other advocacy partners. 
  • SEC petition sponsored and activist efforts organized to hold leaders and companies accountable for enabling the Russian war machine. 
  • Consistent work with constituencies across the US over the past three months through social media, traditional media, and phone banking to strengthen messaging for continuous support of Ukraine from the grassroots to the grasstops levels.

The team’s next engagement is with you!  Set a reminder for Razom’s upcoming Twitter Space this Friday at 1:00 pm EST.  We’ll talk about what’s been done to support Ukraine through this brutal invasion and full scale war, and what everyone can do next. 

There continue to be a diverse array of options to support Ukraine and we hope you consider attending some of the cultural events and/or fundraisers happening in your area.  It’s so important to see that nearly 100 days into this war, there are many ways to engage our communities to learn about and support Ukraine.  

In New York:

  • Today, June 1 from 6-8pm the Ukrainian Institute of America in NYC will host an opening reception for its Impressions of War illustrations exhibition featuring a silent auction of forty-four posters created in reaction to Russia’s brutal invasion.  
  • On Thursday, June 2 from 6-8pm THE GALLERY is hosting an opening reception for Ola Rondiak: Women’s History, a hundred years of Ukraine curated by Kyoko Sato. The exhibition includes her recent drawings and collage works subjected to Ukraine women, history and tradition.  Part of the art sales will be donated to Razom.
  • On Friday, June 3 at 7pm, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is hosting a MetLifeArt Benefit Concert for Ukraine to raise money for museum workers and arts institutions in Ukraine.  The concert will celebrate Ukraine’s diverse musical cultures with performances by world-renowned artists with Ukrainian roots.  
  • On Friday, June 3 from 6-9pm Gallery Arte Azulejo is hosting an opening reception for Yana Bystrova: Approaching a Chaotic Reality, influenced by her country’s struggle to become a free nation.  Part of the art sales will be donated to Razom.
  • On Sunday, June 5 from 12-5pm the Shota Rustaveli Georgian Cultural Center is hosting a fundraising concert for Ukraine at the Ukrainian National Home in the East Village. 
  • Starting Friday, June 10 at 6pm the online virtual screening of feature documentary “A RISING FURY” about the war in Ukraine is set for a World Premiere with the Tribeca Film Festival.  The team has been filming over the past 8 years from the peaceful protest in Kyiv in 2013 to the full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
  • On Friday, June 10 and Saturday, June 11 at the Ukrainian Museum, Director and Producer Andrea Odezynska debuts her new feature-length environmental documentary, Return Sasyk to the Sea, which spotlights the destructive legacy Ukraine inherited as a former member of the Soviet Union.  6/10 tickets here and 6/11 here (all proceeds go to Razom). 
    • Marci Shore, a scholar of intellectual history and a Guggenheim Fellow, will moderate the Q&A after the screening on Friday 6/10.
  • On Sunday, June 12 at 2pm The Timbres are hosting a concert fundraiser for Ukraine at Arlene’s Grocery in NYC
  • Stop by Chobani in Soho this month as sales of a new Chobani Café menu item inspired by the Ukrainian flag (Chobani’s Blueberry & Pineapple Creation) will be donated to Razom!

Online / Virtually: 

  • Today, June 1 at 10am EST Soft Serve, an art and design platform that sells work by emerging artists and craftspeople, is launching an Art For Ukraine fundraiser with all proceeds going to Kyiv Pride. 
  • From Saturday, June 4 at 8pm until Sunday June 5 at 8am, the Szczecin Philharmonic in Poland will showcase a ‘BACHATHON FOR UKRAINE’ to raise awareness about Ukraine through music.  The focal point will be an exceptional endurance requiring performance taking over 4 hours and 30 minutes, performed by one artist, the acclaimed Austrian pianist Aaron Pilsan.  The marathon concert will also feature several musical surprises, videos and interviews with the artists and partner organizations.

In Connecticut:  On Thursday,June 2 at 5:30pm, Sacred Heart University’s School of Communication, Media & the Arts presents a live performance fundraising event called Slava Ukraini.  

In Wisconsin: On Sunday, June 12 at 3pm the Olympia Brown UU Church in Racine will host a concert with music, dance, and stories to benefit Ukraine.  

In Virginia:  On June 24from 6-19pm the Beach Gallery in Virginia Beach is hostinga Hope for Ukraine Art Show & Silent Auction with all proceeds going to either Razom or the World Central Kitchen.  

In Ohio:

In Pennsylvania:  On Sunday, June 26 from 6:30-8pm the Pittsburgh Ukrainian community is hosting a concert at Carnegie Carnegie Music Hall to raise funds for humanitarian aid for Ukraine (including Razom’s work).

Thank you so much for reading this newsletter, for keeping up to date with Razom, and for your support of Ukraine.  Following the horrific and tragic events that took place last week in Uvalde, Texas, it’s important for us to share that Razom stands in solidarity with our community in the U.S. 

We share the pain of the families and community at Robb Elementary and all those who are affected.  These acts of violence are devastating, heartbreaking and require change.  In times like these, we’ve learned to pull each other closer and only then get to work.

Stay razom (together). 

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