A Call to Action....
Following Russia’s February 24, 2022, invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainian citizens began fleeing that war zone to seek sanctuary in other countries, including the United States. Over time, this amounted to more than 10 million displaced Ukrainians and the largest humanitarian crisis in Europe since WWII.
This project began when we welcomed a family of 5 strangers fleeing from Bucha, Ukraine into our own home on March 21. (You can learn about our family's particular experience here, here, and here) Our hosting experience, coupled with the far more personal and detailed exposure of the atrocities in Ukraine inspired us to do more. A handful of unpaid volunteers began organizing a relief effort in preparation for an eventual wave of Ukrainian refugees that could arrive in the United States, including the creation of data bases for willing hosts, volunteers, and an intake form for refugees. That wave came earlier than expected. During the week of Passover and Easter, upwards of 20k Ukrainian refugees passed through the southern border of the United States and were granted humanitarian parole. Having traveled in desperation for weeks and arriving with little more than the clothes on their backs with nowhere to go, some headed to Florida. The phone began to ring. The magnitude and instantaneous nature of the humanitarian crisis outpaced relief agencies and organizations. Institutions remained deadlocked on what to do, huddled around tables planning, deliberating, calculating, all the while the refugees were coming, and coming fast. Nearly overnight, our small group of idealists became a relentless, passionate force dedicated to providing housing, food, provisions, support, and guidance to Ukrainian refugees as the professionals tried to figure out next steps. We became a triage center, and the Ukrainian Refugee Resettlement Project was born.
On October 7th 2023, the unexpected and atrocious attacks by Hamas against Israel further spurred us into action. Within a few days of the attack, plans quickly went into effect to expand our mission to support this new front. We are now beginning to assist the incoming displaced families from Israel and integrating them into the US.