During Ukrainian Easter, I visited extended family in Denver, Colorado. There were several reasons why for this year’s “grading retreat,” I have decided to spend Ukrainian Easter week in the US. This trip was planned for April 2020, but due to pandemic, it has been postponed. As Putin’s aggression in Ukraine escalated in February, Inna’s Mama left Hostomel and now lives in our family home in Lviv. The horrors members of my extended family went through to relocate 93 years old from Hostomel, near Kyiv, to Lviv required in-person connection to debrief and reflect. Grateful that the Canadian Parliament voted unanimously to describe Russian military action in Ukraine as genocide as it is unimaginable what people from war-torn cities in Ukraine went through to survive, while many died.
On the picture is an attempt to commemorate the Chornobyl anniversary (April 26, 1986) when Mama, Inna and I were in Lviv, and now we are together again, in Denver, Colorado, visiting Royal Gorge Bridge. We proudly were waving Ukraine flag at many places we visited in Denver this week and shared stories about Ukraine with local people. The people of Colorado offered overwhelming support and shared their stories on how they #StandWithUkraine.
I also spend a few days researching how Ukrainians in Colorado #StandWIthUkraine. Here is a brief summary of stories I reviewed from local media. They inspire and show the kindness, solidarity and humanity Coloradans shared with the People of Ukraine. I will keep adding more stories to document ways how to #StandWithUkraine.
Ukrainians of Colorado
Denver 7 reports that Coloradans with ties to Ukraine have been devastated as they see images of their home country being destroyed through war, and many have been inspired to step up and help. The nonprofit Ukrainians of Colorado announced it is raising money to send medical supplies to war-torn parts of the country, to raise $100,000. Andrij Lenec shared his story of support. Rob Harris from Denver 7 also reports on how Andrij is using the internet to help their loved ones overseas. Colette Bordelon from Denver 7 shared in their report on Colorado Ukrainians hosting a bake sale to raise money for Ukraine. It will be the first fundraiser for the Ukraine Aid Fund, which was founded after Taras Overchuk travelled to the country in early March. Kyle Cooke, Julio Sandoval, Alexis Kikoen from rocky mountain PBS report that nearly 6,000 miles away, in Denver, Coloradans rallied at the State Capitol in solidarity with the Ukrainian people. People held signs with messages like “Stop Russian Aggression” and “Putin! Hands off Ukraine.” Darius Johnson from 9news highlighted that there was a sea of blue and yellow among a crowd calling for help thousands of miles away at the state Capitol on Saturday. David Mullen from The Denver Gazette also reported that Colorado State Capitol will shine yellow and blue for Ukraine. Hundreds of people keep gathering for ‘Stand With Ukraine’ rally at Colorado Capitol. Courtney Yuen from 9news reported that Coloradans continue to show support for Ukraine, gathering for another rally at the state Capitol on Saturday afternoon. Marc Sallinger from 9news wrote on Ukrainians living in Colorado who receive updates through social media nearly every minute of the day. Rogelio Mares from Fox 31 shared how Local Ukrainians urge Coloradans to avoid Russian propaganda
Wira Babiak reported in Yellow Scene magazine on American Ukrainians in Colorado and the War in Ukraine. Wira highlighted RAZOM’s website to learn how one can contribute monetarily and encourage Coloradans to contact their elected officials and attend rallies to make sure their voices are heard.
Colorado Government Stand With Ukraine
A number of newspaper articles shared the Government of Colorado response to the Russian war in Ukraine. Kasia Kerridge from KKTV 11 news reported on Colorado leaders’ initial reaction to the Russian attack on Ukraine on February 24. In late February, Gov. Jared Polis told the federal government and the Ukrainian Embassy that Colorado pledges to welcome refugees. Angela Case from 9News report on Polis imposition of sanctions against Russia. The state said Colorado had resettled 270 Ukrainian refugees over the past decade, with 78 of those people arriving in the past two years. The state said many of those refugees fled the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine since 2014. How is Colorado responding to the Russian invasion in Ukraine?
Click here to learn more. 9news reporter Jennifer Meckles conducted an interview with Meg Sagaria-Barritt, the Integration Partnerships Coordinator at the Colorado Refugee Services Program, which is the state refugee office within the Department of Human Services. Sagaria-Barritt shared that they think Colorado is very welcoming: “We have an extensive network of organizations, individual residents here, people who welcome folks with open arms. I think we do a good job with employment at more livable wages. I think we do a good job of building social capital – helping people build community – whether it be with residents here in Colorado or other members of their community. And I think keeping our eye on the long term, we want people to live full lives here too. That’s something we do well, and just proud that people from other countries come to call our state home”.
Coloradans are Standing with Ukraine
Most newspaper articles focus on sharing stories of Coloradans who are Standing with Ukraine. KOAA5 reported that a former marine, Aiden Sinclair, travelled to Ukraine to help deliver body armor and humanitarian supplies. Jennifer Meckles reported on Shaughn Varnell, a mechanic from Colorado, who felt called to help Ukraine in the country’s efforts to defend itself against the Russian invasion and highlighted Shaughn’s reflections on his recent travel to Lviv. Melissa Henry from KKTV 11 reported on Ron and Katya Putnam, Colorado couple with strong ties in Ukraine is helping people and refugees there, while communicating with their own family and friends who are caught in the middle of the war with Russia. Click here to donate through Slavic Christian Ministries, and click here for a list of other organizations also taking donations to help Ukraine. In another interview Melissa Henry from KKTV 11 report on Colorado Springs church that help Ukrainians find refuge KKTV 11 is regularly working on finding ways to help Ukraine. If you’d like to donate to Ascent Church’s fund for their efforts, click here.
Angeline McCall from 9news report on a woman from Broomfield, Oksana Kovalenko, is trying to help her Ukrainian family come to Colorado, along with other refugees. She started her own grassroots fundraising campaign to bring awareness to the struggles families like hers are facing. She’s hoping to create a network of people that may be able to house a family when they do arrive or support them in other ways. Megan Hiler from KKTV 11 interviewed Colorado professors to explain the Russia/Ukraine conflict
Anne Trujillo from Denver 7 spotlighted a Colorado man, Joe Reimers, in war-torn Ukraine, which has been his home for four years. If you would like to help Joe and Dasha Reimers in their grassroots effort, click here to donate to the emergency fund that directly supports Joe, Dasha and their team. When you see “select a campaign” choose “Ukraine Emergency Fund – Reimers.” Matt Renoux from 9news report on Kinderlift Colorado has started selling Ski Ukraine shirts and is sending money made to the Red Cross in Ukraine.
Courtney Yuen from 9news reported on Polish woman Dorota Hawryla with Colorado ties. Dorota shelters Ukrainian refugees fleeing across the border. Dorota’s daughter lives here in Colorado, and her coworker, Ryan Grabowski, is helping to raise money for her. Noel Brennan from 9news shared stories on Ukrainians in Colorado who keep in close contact with relatives.
Scott Barkley reports in Kentucky Today that a culture of generosity was on display on April 17 at Cross Fellowship Church in Colorado Springs. On Easter, church members responded to a request to help Ukrainian refugees in a big way – by giving approximately $61,000. That amount was in addition to, not instead of, members’ regular tithe. Robert Davis from The Center Square reported that Colorado suspends sports betting on Russian and Belarusian events following the Ukraine invasion. The state’s public employee pension fund has also withdrawn more than $7.2 million held in a Russian bank in response to their invasion of Ukraine.
Ukrainians Arriving in Colorado
Marc Sallinger from 9 news reports that “some of the first people to leave Ukraine and seek refuge in Colorado are sharing their story of fleeing the Russian invasion. As the war continues, they watch from halfway around the world and pray their family members who stayed behind are safe. Viktor Khmil and his sister Tatyana are together again, now in Colorado. Tatyana fled Ukraine at the start of the Russian invasion to come live in Aurora with her brother. Now Viktor helps translate the fear she’s felt over the past few months” 9news.com also shares that “Students at North Star Academy teamed up with Ukrainians of Colorado and Project CURE to put together with care packages, each with a personalized letter”. Marc Sallinger from 9 news also reports that Ukrainians of Colorado raise funds to send medical supplies to Ukraine. Katie Eastman from 9news reported on Maryna Sheveria, an exchange student, when she was 16 in Colorado. When Russia invaded Ukraine, the same family invited her, and now her family, back. Tom Cole from 9news reported on Steven Brown, who sits in his new apartment in Highlands Ranch, talking about his escape from Kyiv, Ukraine, with his 13-year-old son, Gena. Complete 30 minutes interview is also available online
The benefit concert on Saturday, April 30, 2022 7:30 PM 10:00 PM at Shockley-Zalabak Theatre, Ent Center for the Arts featuring internationally renowned Ukrainian and American musicians from the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of the Springs, the Colorado Vocal Arts Ensemble, Colorado College Chamber Chorus, Tetyana Palamarchuk, UCCS Music Program Faculty and the Ukrainian musician Siuzanna Iglidan, who recently performed at the Grammy Awards with John Legend. Proceeds from the concert will be donated to the UN Refugee Agency and Razom, which provides medical aid to Ukraine.
Ukrainian Porter Beer Release Benefit Event Sunday, May 1, 2022 1:00 PM 5:00 PM Cheluna Taproom. Cheluna Brewing organize an afternoon fundraiser for Project Cure’s Ukrainian relief efforts, music graciously provided by Megan & The Destroyers, food generously donated by Rolling Smoke BBQ. The Ukrainian Porter beer proceeds will be donated to Project Cure, with pints and bottles both available during the event, along with a limited number of Slava Ukraini tshirts
Additional articles that I found but yet haven’t included in the review are listed below:
Colorado businesses and leaders show support for Ukraine as Russian war continues
PRAYING FOR HER HOMELAND – ALTHOUGH SHE LEFT IN 2013 TO LIVE IN COLORADO, UKRAINE WILL ALWAYS BE HER HOME
Polis to Ukrainians in Aurora: ‘Coloradans stand with Ukraine’
Sofi Tukker raises $20K for Ukraine; Ukrainians of Colorado mobilizes
Colorado State University stands with the people of Ukraine
Colorado Woman Works To Bring More Supplies To Victims Of War In Ukraine
Sunflowers for Ukraine in Western Colorado
Group Ukrainians Of Colorado Gathering Funds & Supplies For Refugees Of Ukraine
Silverman: Denver’s Babi Yar Park is a hidden gem and a moving monument to Holocaust victims
Religious organizations, churches in Colorado Springs back humanitarian efforts in Ukraine
Ukrainian refugees coming to southern Colorado a ‘possibility,’ as Afghan resettlement continues
The Invasion of Ukraine: Resources for Educators and Families
Aid to Ukrainians stretches from Italy to Colorado
From his roots to his new routine: A Coloradan focuses on helping Ukraine
DPL Archive: A history of Ukrainian immigration to Colorado
UKRAINIANS IN COLORADO
‘They don’t feel safe’: Ukrainian refugees share experiences of fleeing war for Colorado
How Coloradans can help people in Ukraine
Colorado Senate unanimously supports Ukraine, calls for action against Russia
‘It was madness’: A Ukrainian couple’s journey from Kyiv to Colorado Springs
Ukrainian immigrants in Colorado feel the pull of home, tell Polis and Coloradans how to help
Support For Ukraine Against Russian Aggression
Polis reiterates that Colorado will welcome Ukrainian refugees after White House announcement
The Extraordinary Ways Coloradans Are Helping Ukrainians Right Now
Colorado Ukrainians Gather At State Capitol To Honor Those Killed In War-Torn Country
Lakewood woman carries on Ukrainian egg art to help save her culture
Colorado woman returns home after helping send supplies to Ukraine
Colorado Springs protestors ‘Stand with Ukraine’ as attacks continue
Ukrainians hold rally at Colorado State Capitol as talks of invasion continue
Ukrainian in Colorado Springs reflects on one month since Russia invaded
Colorado paramedic volunteers for Ukraine humanitarian mission
After helping to rescue his family,Coloradan returns from Ukraine
Team of military veterans to bring donated medical supplies, ambulance from Colorado to Ukraine
Ukrainian and Polish Communities in Colorado Raise Funds, Remember World War II Victims
‘It’s been heartbreaking for all these years’: Ukrainian living in CO reflects on crisis