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  • Manu Ferreira

Fundraising projects in Champaign-Urbana to help Ukraine

By Manu Ferreira

It’s been one month since Russia invaded Ukraine. More than 3.5 million people have fled the country looking for a safe place to live. Organizations all over the world started fundraising projects to help the refugees.

Ukraine rally at Alma Mater | Credit Illinois Newsroom

Here in Champaign-Urbana, the Ukrainian Student Association has raised over twelve thousand dollars with various initiatives, like rallies, t-shirt fundraisers, and a collaboration with other clubs on campus. Its President Larysa Brandys says they have been working to spread awareness about what is happening in Ukraine and to collect as many donations as possible.

“We are currently in process of planning a number of fundraisings with other organizations on campus such as UofIUNICEF chapter and the Center for Children Action Network. We're also planning a vigil scheduled for April 7th. It's going to be a collaboration with some other schools across the US that have Ukrainian clubs,” explains Brandys.

Another project on the University of Illinois campus was created by Carle Illinois College of Medicine. The students launched a medical and physical goods supply drive to get additional aid to the region. “These people need help, and the things they need are things many of us have lying around our homes. We all have the ability to make a difference in this crisis,” affirms Dylan Mann, a fourth-year medical student, and co-lead on the relief project.

Small businesses are also stepping up to support Ukraine. Central Illinois Bakehouse in Champaign recreated a traditional Ukrainian garlic bread to raise funds for children and families. “We’re selling Pampushky for $20 each and 100% of the sale, all $20, is going to benefit the International Rescue Committee,” says the Brand Manager Miranda Martin.

The International Committee is an organization that is currently in Poland supporting Ukrainian refugees with essential supplies and psychological care. Miranda says they are happy to bake for such an important cause. “It’s a wonderful benefit to be able to give back to not only our community but to the global community. We love being able to benefit

all of the people of the world and just not our small town.”

The goal is to sell five hundred Pampushky, which sum up a total of ten thousand dollars in donations. “We have currently sold a hundred twenty-six. We are matching the first ten thousand dollars in donations, which will be five hundred, so we are just going to stop when we hit our goal.

The Pampushky is available at Central Illinois Bakehouse and Pekara Bakery in Champaign, at Urbana Farms Market, and Martinelli’s Market in Bloomington. It is also possible to order it online at

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