Night for Ukraine to raise funds, show Alexandrians how to help | ALXnow
A Night for Ukraine organizers hope to raise $10,000 to support relief efforts in Ukraine and raise awareness at the event, which businesses in Alexandria have rallied to support.
LOVE in ALX’s Mary Leonard and local business owner Dominique Fakir organized the fundraiser for CORE, Community Organized Relief Efforts, a US-based non-profit organization. The association’s volunteers work in Poland to meet the immediate needs of Ukrainian refugees.
“(One Night in Ukraine) is really just an opportunity for people to connect locally and then see how their efforts here actually affect change there,” Fakir told ALXnow. “You always want to help but you don’t know how. So my hope was really to have this event to share stories of what’s happening on the ground and then how people can give financially, in terms of support, even raising awareness, like posting on social media, which account, and keep the conversation going. ”
Leonard, who volunteers in Poland, shared stories of what she saw and heard on social media. She helped escort refugees to Poland and said their needs included everything from long-term housing, food and clothing.
“Some days the questions are ‘where can I get a bus to Warsaw or Rzeszow or some other destination,'” Leonard said in an email. “Other days we are there with shopping carts carrying the luggage in shopping carts to their destination buses… The refugees are now fleeing with one or two bags which they threw together and left their homes in a hurry. You’ll find everything from women’s products to coloring books at Crossing Camp.
Leonardo posted a story on his social media accounts about the horrific conditions in Mariupol that a man told him he saw before traveling to Poland and being separated from his son who is still in Ukraine.
“Four weeks ago, everyone’s life in Ukraine was like yours. Loving, happy, sweet. They went to work, raised their children, went to concerts, fell in love. And now this. Never take what you take for granted,” Leonard wrote in the post.
The fundraiser will welcome Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson, Ukrainian Embassy First Secretary Kateryna Smagliy and CORE aid workers who will share their stories. This morning (Thursday), about 150 people had bought tickets. Local businesses have donated more than $10,000 in in-kind services so there is plenty of food and people together in solidarity, Fakir said.
“This issue of attack on democracy, unprovoked war, it’s just heartbreaking as an American to see that,” she said.
The event will take place on the ALX rooftop at 2461 Eisenhower Avenue from 6:45 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are available on EventBrite.