Newsletter #21: Celebrating American & Ukrainian Freedom on Fourth of July

As we go into Fourth of July weekend in the US, this year the holiday has special meaning. Fourth of July represents the root of our never-ending fight to preserve our freedom & democracy as a united people and a united country. This weekend Razom is celebrating by thanking Ukrainians for reminding us that freedom isn’t free and showing them our support as they fight for our shared values. We sincerely hope you’ll join us.  

Dear Razom community,

We want you to consider infusing Ukraine into your Fourth of July celebrations this year.  The Razom Advocacy team created a special site full of ideas on how to do that – from low-medium-high difficulty Ukrainian recipes, to music playlists and advocacy of course!  Much like Americans were aided in their struggle for independence against a colonial power, the United States marks this Fourth of July by aiding Ukrainians in their fight to uphold their most cherished values— freedom and democracy. 

We hope you will join us and use #USUAFreedom on social media so that Ukrainians, Ukrainian-Americans, and friends of Ukraine around the world can see this beautiful show of support in action.

Now on to updates on the impact your support has had on Razom’s work over the past week:

  • Our volunteers packed and prepared for shipping 5,744 IFAKs last week.  Since the beginning of our emergency response, we’ve prepared and shipped almost 62,000 IFAKs in total.
  • In partnership with SMART Medical Aid, we have recorded masterclass videos of practical training in Basic Life Support that you can find here on Razom’s YouTube channel.  Razom is committed to providing high quality medical and tactical aid and ensuring that people can easily and effectively use it.
    • We encourage you to share these videos with anyone who may find them useful — budding medics, volunteer emergency responders and defenders, or anyone in a war zone. 

Many of the in-kind donations from amazing supporting organizations in the U.S., coordinated by the Razom Hospitals team, made it to the most in-need hospitals in Ukraine:

  • Our Ukrainian partners Zdorovi and Patients of Ukraine received 8 pallets of medications from the Catholic Medical Mission Board (CMMB) which will be distributed between numerous hospitals in across the 12 most hard-hit regions of Ukraine.
    • Below you’ll see photos of aid in the hands of end users in those hospitals from previous in-kind donations from organizations such as Partners for World Health and Massachusetts General Hospital.  
  • Razom procured and delivered 5 SvarMed coagulators to various hospitals across Ukraine (including Kharkiv).  They aredeveloped and manufactured in Ukraine and are used while performing life saving surgical procedures to control blood loss. 
  • The Hospitals team applied and won approval for a partnership with Airlink, a rapid-response humanitarian relief organization that links pre-qualified NGOs with commercial airlines for free air transportation of relief workers and aid cargo.  We are grateful to be a part of their work and community!  

After the most recent brutal attack on civilians in Ukraine (yesterday a russian airstrike hit a shopping mall in Kremenchuk while up to 1,000 people were there), Razom’s Advocacy team, and all of us at Razom, ask you to write and call to your representatives in government.  Ask that they recognize russia as a terrorist state, a state sponsor of terrorism.  Let them know that you’re watching what russia is doing in Ukraine and that it’s not okay with you.  Info on how to contact can be found here.

This week we want to bring two special virtual events to your attention:

  • Available until Sunday, July 3, watch A Rising Fury online at the Tribeca Film Festival.  Due to significant demand, this is the second time that the festival has extended the viewing window for this incredible film.  Back in 2014 Razom issued a $5,000 grant, a significant sum for our organization at the time, to help fund the producing of this documentary.  It follows two hopeful Ukrainian idealists from the peaceful protests in Kyiv in 2013 to the full-scale russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.  Pavlo and Svitlana met and fell in love at the Maidan Revolution and were filmed over 8 years with several expeditions to the frontlines of the war.  Pavlo loses his family home from the invasion and joins the Ukrainian military.  Both find themselves on the battle lines, protecting their land, democracy, and their relationship.  You can watch the film here
  • On Friday, July 1 at 1:00 pm EST, join the Razom Advocacy Team and American expert and scholar Terrell Jermaine Starr for a discussion on the importance of celebrating Ukraine on the 4th of July this year.  Click here to set a reminder and join (virtually).

Meanwhile in New York:

  • On July 1, 10PM – 5AM at the Knockdown Center in Queens, NECHTO record label will showcase for the first time outside of Ukraine.  In 2020 and 2021 the label held a series of large rave parties in Kyiv which drew thousands of attendants from 21 countries.  In 2022 NECHTO was scheduled once again in Kyiv, but due to Russian aggression in Ukraine, it didn’t run.  This time with an amazing lineup of talent, all ticket proceeds will go to Razom.
  • On Sunday, July 10 at 1PM the Forest Hills Jewish Center is hosting a Classical Music Concert to Support Ukraine
  • On Wednesday, July 27 from 6-9:30PM the Ukrainian Institute of America is hosting the Sunflower Gala fundraising for Razom’s humanitarian relief work.  The evening will include a special menu designed by Veselka, and special performances by Pavlo Glyntov, Vira Slyvotzky, and Dan Bower. 

Also virtually: 

  • On Wednesday, July 13 at 1pm EST, join playwrights Anastasiia Kosodii, Lena Lagushonkova and Ukrainian theatre specialist Molly Flynn for an online discussion of theatre’s role in shaping political agency, supporting resistance efforts and community organizing in Ukraine.  Produced and organized by the dramaturgs’ network in partnership with the Ukranian Institute in Kyiv, Ukrainian Institute in London and Birkbeck Centre for Contemporary Theatre, all donations from the event will go to Razom. 

You might have noticed a new series of blog posts on Razom’s website in the “Updates” section titled Razom Says Dyakuyu, meaning “thank you” in Ukrainian.  We want to spotlight some amazing stories of generosity, support, and simple organizing to fundraise for Razom’s work in helping Ukraine.  We’ve collected a lot of these stories over the past 4+ months, and they continue to sustain us and inspire us.  Below are two recent spotlights
(click on the links to read the stories!).

Razom says Dyakuyu – Thank You – to the New York Jets and BabaAid for Ukraine initiative!

Thank you so much for reading this newsletter, for keeping up to date with Razom, and for your support of Ukraine.  We’re so glad you’re with us.

Stay razom.

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