This week, the first snowfall, the largest barrage of missiles to date targeting civilian infrastructure, recurring blackouts across many parts of Ukraine, and uncovering the devastation left behind in newly liberated Ukrainian territories, have become the new normal for Ukrainians. However their resolve, and ours, is stronger than ever. Just watch the video of a Kyiv Children’s Choir “Shchedryk” rehearsing for their upcoming Dec 4th performance at Carnegie Hall in the dark, in a bomb shelter, during air raid sirens.
Dear Razom community,
In the past few weeks you’ve had a chance to learn about Razom projects beyond our Emergency Response Project that’s been running nonstop since Feb 24th delivering critical humanitarian aid to the most in-need parts of Ukraine. Make no mistake, this remains our top priority, especially as the situation on the ground shifts with winter here and more infrastructure than ever before having been destroyed. Delivering aid that provides electricity or warmth, saves lives in Ukraine today,so please continue to support that work.
However there are so many other ways Ukraine is being effected by this relentless, brutal war. Today there are thousands of orphaned children in Ukraine, whose father or mother, or in some cases both, died defending Ukraine.Razom Toy Drive, one of our earliest projects started in May 2014, provides assistance to these children by sending school essentials, birthday and holiday presents (including toys!), and other humanitarian assistance their way every year since 2014.
In the past couple of weeks, our volunteers sent 130 high-quality winter coats to 130 of these kids. But as the holiday season approaches, we’d like to call upon your help to bring some peace and joy to children of war in Ukraine. Donate here or here to support Razom Toy Drive to expand the pool of children we can help, and gift them a portable power bank with a LED flashlight. In their world of rolling blackouts and hiding in bomb shelters and basements during regular air-raids across Ukraine, this $30 gadget will go a long way for the darkest nights before Ukraine’s victory.
Razom has combined fundraising efforts with Nova Ukraine to ensure we can invest $120,000 to help buy a “Kovcheg,” an armored all-terrain vehicle, for the Pirogov First Volunteer Mobile Hospital (PFVMH) as soon as possible. Over the past eight years, since russia’s invasion in 2014, PFVMH became known as “angels in white coats,” 500+ physicians, paramedics, and support staff as volunteers providing medical care on the frontline of the war in Ukraine. They operate on the wounded and sew them on the way to base hospitals.
For the last 6 months (May-October) PFVMH treated (extracted, stabilized and evacuated to the base hospitals) 3,563 patients in the Donbas region alone.
PFVMH has always acted in the hottest zones. From the first days of the active counteroffensive in Kharkiv region, they’ve followed Dyke Pole 518 Special Military Unit in Balakliya, Hrushivka, Husarivka and other villages. Now they are also treating people in Bakhmut and in a recently liberated Lyman.
The Razom Grants project has supported this group for many months now, helping them get tactical medicine, vehicles and fuel, a portable x-ray, and now, let’s help them secure a Kovcheg! It costs $250,000 (already a reduced price) and because Kovcheg is in Ukraine, it can be purchased quickly and without any additional charges (customs fees etc). PFVMH already has everything needed to transform the vehicle into a stabilization center.
Donate on facebook or by clicking the button below that’ll take you to our website.
In the meantime, below are some of our regularly scheduled updates for our Emergency Response and Hospitals projects. This is an impressive operation with a dedicated team that ensures delivery of aid in the hands of the end-user. Our team works in four countries, US, Canada, Poland, and Ukraine, with a warehouse in each country. That team is split into procurement (with specializations in medical versus technical devices and aid), logistics (international shipping, customs), Ukrainian warehouse staff who sorts and prepares “orders” for distribution across Ukraine, “customer support” representatives who collect and verify those orders, drivers who deliver aid directly to first-responders and defenders, and technologists who maintain a software system that allows us to efficiently track every package that leaves our warehouse in Ukraine.
For example, on November 12 Razom delivered over 180 medical first-aid kits of the highest quality to the State Emergency Service of Ukraine in the Mykolaiv region. That was our 27th (!!) delivery to an outpost of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine. This government agency are first-responders when russian missiles strike, and key actors demining de-occupied territories of Ukraine. Countless civilian lives are saved thanks to their work everyday.
As for our Hospitals team, managing in-kind donations and medical missions, most recently they worked with Henry Schein who donated 17 pallets of hygiene kits through our dedicated partner MedShare, providing essential items and honoring the dignity of Ukrainian civilians living amid war. Razom partner and grantee, Rescue Now, distributed these kits in line with their ongoing work to provide humanitarian aid in Eastern Ukraine. The individuals pictured below are residents of Kharkiv.
On November 25, Ukrainians around the world commemorate Holodomor Remembrance Day, remembering the millions of Ukrainians starved to death by the Soviet regime in an artificially-created famine. Today, less than a hundred years later, the Ukrainian nation is again fighting for its right to exist.
S.Res. 713 and H.Res. 1205 recognize Russia’s actions in Ukraine as genocide. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine unambiguously meets the definition of the term genocide as defined by the Genocide Convention and reflected in U.S. law. Passing this important resolution reaffirms America’s commitment to our fundamental principles and underscores the seriousness of Russia’s crimes.
We ask our community and friends to please email, call, or tweet your Members of Congress today and ask them to cosponsor and support this important resolution! You can follow Razom’s latest call to action here: https://www.votervoice.net/RAZOMF…/Campaigns/98795/Respond
Join us in contacting our Members of Congress now: https://www.votervoice.net/RAZOMF…/Campaigns/98795/Respond
We’ve been counting down the days until Notes From Ukraine, the 100th anniversary concert celebrating Ukrainian “Carol of the Bells” at Carnegie Hall and returning to the Stern Auditorium/Perelman stage for one day only!
Tickets are selling fast and sponsorship opportunities for businesses are still available, but what we ask of you after the latest missile attacks on Ukraine this week, is to help us bring the Kyiv Children’s Choir «Shchedryk», who will be performing at the concert, to NYC. Below is a little peak into their rehearsals this week. As Kyiv goes through constant power shutdowns, the kids are left to rehearse in darkness and during air raid alarms, in bomb shelters. Despite all the challenges, the choir persists in its mission to represent Ukraine to an international audience — just like the Ukrainian Republic Capella 100 yers ago. Our «Shchedryk» Choir may be rehearsing in the dark bomb shelters now, but in a month they will be on a bright stage of Carnegie Hall and a warm audience awaits them. Help us to bring them to NYC by making a donation here and become a part of the history of promoting and preserving Ukrainian culture.
Kyiv Children’s Choir «Shchedryk» rehearses in the dark, determined to come to Carnegie Hall to perform on Deember 4, 2022.
On October 5, 1922, the Ukrainian Republic Capella performed in New York City’s Carnegie Hall and North American audiences heard for the first time Mykola Leontovych’s “Shchedryk”, a traditional Ukrainian song that would become the beloved holiday classic, “Carol of the Bells.”
There are a number of amazing projects you can support that will bring you closer with Ukrainian culture, art, and history. Below is a roundup of some of those events and fundraising opportunities. Moving forward, you’ll also be able to catch the most up to date schedule of events and creative fundraising campaigns on our website here.
In New York:
- On Sunday, November 19, 7-11PM the Lisovi Chorty Plast Fraternity is celebrating their centenary by hosting a formal costume ball, or Kostyumivka, at the Ukrainian Institute of America in New York City. The elegant affair will be a fundraiser to support humanitarian aid efforts in Ukraine. Secure your tickets here.
- Closing on Sunday, November 20, 11AM – 6PM at Howl! Arts New York is Yara Arts Group’s presentation of “Mariupol,” an exhibition of award-winning photographs and video by Evgeniy Maloletka and Mstyslav Chernov (AP) from the first days Russia invaded Ukraine this year. There were no funerals. No memorials. No public gatherings to mourn those killed by Russia’s relentless attacks on the port city of Mariupol that became a symbol of Ukraine’s ferocious resistance. The mass grave trenches told the story of a city under siege. You catch the exhibit everyday this week until Sunday.
- On Sunday, December 4, 2PM Notes From Ukraine, a concertdedicated to 100 years of “Shchedryk” and highlighting Ukrainian music and the connections between Ukrainian and American cultures, will take the stage at Carnegie Hall. Secure your tickets here!
- On Saturday, December 10, 12:30PM – 3:30PM at the Kolo Klub come join Namaste Hoboken for its holiday party in support of Ukraine.
In Washinton, D.C.:
- On Wednesday, November 30, 5:30-8:30PM, the U.S. – Ukraine Foundation will host the D.C. premier of Freedom on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom, an incredible documentary film by Evgeny Afinevsky is a sequel to his 2015 documentary Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom. Secure your ticket here.
- The Oxbow Gallery in Easthampton, MA will be showing a series of new oil paintings by Joanne Holtje, “Lamentations,” from October 27-November 27, 2022. Begun in early 2022, this series served as a way for her to bear witness to the horror of the invasion of Ukraine. The proceeds of sales from the show, plus an additional 20% match from an anonymous donor will be donated to Razom.
- On Friday, December 16, 8 – 9:30PM, the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra presents Holiday Pops 2022, a festive, glamorous night out featuring Sleigh Ride and the world premiere of Scrooge: A Christmas Overture by composer Donald Fraser—featuring Vira Slywotzky, soprano.
- The Grimshaw-Gudewicz Art Gallery at Bristol County Community College in Fall River, MA will be showing an exhibition called Eye of the Beholder (Don’t Close Your Eyes): Ukrainian Artists Respond to the War, from November 10-December 22. With over 120 pieces on display, these works evoke the resolve and the anguish of the Ukrainian people and what they are experiencing as events unfold. All art is on sale, with 50% of the sale price going to the artist and 50% to humanitarian organizations like Serhiy Prytula Charity Foundation and Come Back Alive.
- Introducing to the world: KOLO, an unparalleled immersive visual experience and theatrical dance show celebrating the rich artistic and cultural heritage of Ukraine! The first of its kind, KOLO is the brainchild of award-winning, Ukrainian-bred competitive ballroom dancers and partners, Iaroslav and Liliia Bieliei, both natives of Kyiv who now call Los Angeles home. The show is launching its North American tour in Florida:
- You can now buy a cool gaming bundle on Humble Bundle, who sells games, ebooks, software, and other digital content, while supporting Razom. Make a choice of 2, 5 or 9 games and proceeds from your purchase will support Razom in continuing to send aid to Ukraine.
- Stream a historic performance of the National Ballet of Ukraine from Orlando, FL at the prestigious Steinmetz Hall on August 27, 2022, and donate to help raise humanitarian aid for Ukrainian children and families. The National Ballet of Ukraine is considered one of the top ranked ballet companies in the world. Cozy up with your friends and loved ones and watch a special performance that affirms the power of art and beauty over tyranny and destruction.
- Awethentic Gallery’s latest charity campaign, Prints for Ukraine, features a variety of artworks from award-winning journalists and photographers across the world, including Mykhaylo Palinchak who served as the official photographer of the President of Ukraine; Emmy-nominated journalist Laurel Chor and renowned documentary photographer, Natalie Keyssar. All artworks are $150 and 100% of net proceeds of prints go directly to our artists and critical humanitarian war relief charities Razom and World Central Kitchen.
- “Invasion: Music and Art for Ukraine” CD is a project by Ukrainian-American GRAMMY® Award-winning pianist Nadia Shpachenko featuring music by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Lewis Spratlan and art by outstanding Ukrainian artists Lesia Babliak, Yurii Nagulko, Olena Papka, Kati Prusenko, and Aza Nizi Maza Studio children artists, directed by Mykola Kolomiets. All proceeds go to Razom.
- Started by a Ukrainian yoga teacher, Yoga4Ukraine aims to bring together 1,000 yoga teachers all around the world that each donate ONE yoga class! Any style, any format, anywhere, anytime. Visit www.yoga4ukraine.com to officially become a part of the Yoga4Ukraine project or find a class near you, and get your Yoga4Ukraine t-shirt to support the initiative today. All donations will benefit United24 and Razom.
Thank you so much for reading this newsletter, sharing it, generously donating to many of our important projects, and for showing your support of Ukraine. We are immensely grateful.
P.S. – why not add Razom to your AmazonSmile so that every time you shop, we get a 0.5% of that total as a donation. As of Sept 2022, Razom has received $4,550 from AmazonSmile. To shop at AmazonSmile, simply go to smile.amazon.com on your web browser and activate AmazonSmile on the Amazon Shopping app on your iOS or Android phone (found under settings on your app).