NORFOLK, Va. — As Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine, many people in Hampton Roads are looking for ways to support the Ukrainian people.
As of Tuesday, March 1, over half a million refugees have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries according to the United Nations. The UN expects that 12 million people inside Ukraine, and over 4 million refugees, may need help in the coming months.
Here are some Hampton Roads-based organizations that are helping those affected by the violence in Ukraine.
Tidewater Ukrainian Cultural Association
After Russia's invasion of Ukraine started, the Tidewater Ukrainian Cultural Association (TUCA) urged people to pressure elected officials into supporting sanctions and isolating Russia economically.
"A major war in Ukraine will not stay in Ukraine," TUCA said in a statement. "Not only lives and the future of 44 million Ukrainian are at stake, the future of the whole international security and stability is under attack."
TUCA recently held a "Stand with Ukraine" event in Norfolk. The organization said it hopes to have another demonstration in Virginia Beach in the coming weeks.
The Virginia Beach-based organization said it has teams on the ground in the cities of Kyiv and Krasnohorivka. Since the violence started, those teams have given out emergency supplies, including food kits, bottled water and electric generators.
The organization is sending a disaster relief team to Poland on Wednesday to help with the wave of refugees coming from Ukraine. The team will bring relief supplies stored in Chesapeake, including water filtration devices, solar lamps and hygiene kits for refugees.
The organization said it is also planning to set up medical clinics near the Polish-Ukrainian border.
To donate to Operation Blessing, you can visit its website.
Heart for Orphans
The Williamsburg-based organization provides transition homes and programs for orphaned children in Ukraine, Belarus and Kenya.
Heart for Orphans Founder Nancy Hathaway said the organization has four homes with nearly 60 young people overseen by house parents in Ukraine.
Crews have moved more than 30 children out of the country to seek refuge in Poland, Slovakia and Romania. Hathaway is working to get about 20 more young people out of Ukraine but has run into problems.
The organization is asking people to donate on its website with "Emergency Fund" in the memo line, which will help pay for housing and transportation.
The Portsmouth-based organization provides high-quality meals to victims, volunteers and first responders in natural disasters and national emergencies.
The organization said it deployed to provide immediate food relief for Ukrainians crossing the border into Romania.
You can donate on the Mercy Chefs' website.
Other groups you can support
- BStrong: Founded by entrepreneur and former reality star Bethenny Frankel, this organization is setting up booths for people's needs on the Polish-Ukrainian border.
- Doctors Without Borders: This organization is working to set up emergency response activities in Ukraine and nearby countries.
- Razom: This organization is working to get urgent medical supplies for Ukrainian hospitals.
- UNICEF USA: This organization is working to support children and families displaced by the ongoing violence.
- USA for UNHCR: This organization is working to support displaced families from Ukraine.
Do you know of any organizations in Hampton Roads that are helping Ukrainians? Text the name to 757-628-6200 and we may add it to this list.