Owensboro Nonprofit Collecting Donations to Aid Ukrainian Refugees
A local nonprofit in Owensboro is doing everything it can to help those displaced as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
OSCAR Establishes a Relief Fund for Ukraine
Owensboro Sister Cities and Regions, Inc. (OSCAR) has established a relief fund to send direct aid to Ukrainian refugees that have been forced to flee their homes to escape the violence in their country.
The call to action implemented by OSCAR came after officials located in Olomouc – a country in the Czech Republic and one of Owensboro’s two Sister Cities – reached out to OSCAR President Michael Vanover and his team about the dire need for assistance amongst the ongoing conflict.
As mentioned in a press release from OSCAR and the City of Owensboro, those in Olomouc have been working closely with its partner city of Chernivtsi, Ukraine to provide humanitarian aid to the 50,000 Ukrainians who’ve sought shelter at a refugee camp located at Chernivtsi University.
“Olomouc has also provided shelter to over 5,000 refugees, many of which are women with small children,” the release says. “Most of the Ukrainian refugees in Olomouc have lost everything.”
Vanover said his organization hopes to raise a minimum of $30,000 over the next couple of weeks to support the efforts in protecting Ukrainian refugees. The $30,000 goal will also commemorate OSCAR’s 30th anniversary as a member of Sister Cities International.
Once OSCAR received the call for help, Vanover and his team immediately went to work on setting up a relief fund.
“We heard the call and wanted to answer it, especially after 30 years of working together with Olomouc,” he said. “That amount equates to $30 from 1,000 people. Even if you just give a dollar, every little bit helps.”
A Local Match of $10,000
A local individual told Vanover they would donate $10,000 to match the first $10,000 raised by OSCAR. With officials from Olomouc scheduled to visit Owensboro for a Mayoral Delegation on May 17-20, Vanover hopes to present a check to the group by the end of their trip.
Vanover said OSCAR “isn’t that far away” from reaching the $10,000 mark, and that he hoped to see local government organizations, churches, and businesses donate toward the cause to help them get there.
“We’re helping good people, and we’re helping people in need,” he said. “Most of them weren’t even able to pack a suitcase. They have nothing. [The Russian military] is doing something awful over there, and we don’t yet fully realize the impact it’s going to have. And we may never know the full impact, but it’s much worse than anything most of us have ever been through.”
How to Donate to OSCSR Ukrainian Relief Fund
Tax-deductible donations made to the OSCAR Ukrainian Relief Fund can be made at any Independence Bank location, or right here through Paypal.