Rochester, New York – On Thursday evening, people in Rochester’s Ukrainian community gathered, to brainstorm local efforts to help the country.
ROC Maidan, a nonprofit organization is leading fundraising efforts. According to Solomia Laba, medical shipment coordinator for the group, Ukrainians will need everything from medical supplies to basic necessities.
“I spoke to my family this morning – the stores are selling out. Everything from a basic toothbrush, you’re gonna probably need – to continue to live your life under that kind of duress. So, we’re looking to support everybody as much as we can,” Laba said.
Working to come up with swift plans to get aid to Ukrainians after Russia’s invasion overnight, Laba was joined by dozens at the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Webster.
“It’s been going on on the Eastern side of Ukraine for a very long time. But the fact that bombings have happened on the Western side of Ukraine is very alarming to us and very scary,” Laba said.
Volodymyr Pavlyuk is the president of ROC Maidan. He immigrated from Ukraine and still has many loved ones in the country.
“They were scared this morning, obviously, when bombs are blowing in your area, people were scared. But I talked to my friends – my close friends – this afternoon, get together and they’re going to join the military and they will protect Ukraine. So, Ukraine will stay, Ukraine will fight hardback to Russia – so, they will stop them,” he said.
He wants to see stronger sanctions against Russia.
Members of the Ukrainian Cultural Center and ROC Maidan plan to continue meeting with legislators and fundraising locally as the violence continues in their beloved country.
People can donate to the local efforts to send supplies to Ukrainians and those on the front lines of the battle at ROCMaidan.org.