This post is part of our series Razom Says “Dyakuyu.” Dyakuyu means “thank you” in Ukrainian. Our work supporting Ukraine and getting humanitarian aid on the ground where it is needed most, would not be possible without the generous donors. We will be highlighting the work, donations, and stories of several individuals and organizations who have agreed to be publicly featured on our website.
Razom for Ukraine was honored to be selected as one of the recipients of the New York Jets donations to aid Ukrainian relief efforts. Razom was awarded $100,000 in May as part of the Jets overall $1 million donation to support Ukraine that will be split among different organizations over the course of this year.
For the well-known National Football League franchise, supporting Ukraine during this brutal war is personal for the Jets owners, the Johnson family. Suzanne Johnson, wife of Jets Chairman Robert Wood Johnson, is Ukrainian-American and grew up in a Ukrainian neighborhood in New York.
Mrs. Johnson’s family story echoes that of thousands of Ukrainians who now proudly call the United States their home. Mrs. Johnson’s mother, Marie, was born to Ukrainian immigrant parents and her father, Stefan Ircha, immigrated all by himself to the United States from the western city of Ternopil at the age of 21 following World War II.
“He came to this country for opportunity after the war. He went through Red Cross, then to a local Ukrainian church that aided him in getting an apartment and brought him into the community,” Mrs. Johnson told the New York Post. “He met my mother [Marie] at a Ukrainian dance, got married and had their family. When I grew up, I grew up in a very solid Ukrainian community.
Mrs. Johnson was introduced to Razom through shared connections in the Ukrainian-American community. She said it was important for her to help provide aid and bring awareness to the war.
“The money, they’re going to need for a long time for rebuilding and for the aid. It’s going to be there. So I just hope we could start something going. The world has been quite generous and I just hope it continues to be that way,” Mrs. Johnson told the Associated Press in April when the donation effort kicked off.
The Jets donation went to support Razom’s Emergency Response efforts.
“These donations will positively impact Ukrainian refugees and their families with essential supplies,” said New York Jets Chairman Robert Wood Johnson. “The need for resources is continuously growing. Our thoughts continue to be with the innocent lives who have been affected and all those who are suffering.”
Additionally, the Jets have offered to take a group of displaced Ukrainian families from the tristate area to a football game in August, giving them VIP treatment and the opportunity to experience an American football game.
Along with the donation to Razom, the Jets are matching all medical supplies donations given by their staff. The Jets have also supported friends of Razom including Plast Scouting – USA and the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America (UNWLA) as part of their donation efforts.
Razom and all the people who we’ve been able to support on the ground in Ukraine during the war say, “dyakuyu,” to the New York Jets.