A year ago today, Putin invaded Ukraine. The invasion has caused tens of thousands of deaths on both sides and instigated one of the largest refugee crises in history. According to the United Nations, over 8 million Ukrainians have been displaced by the war to date.
In March of 2022, Jamie saw on TV the aftermath of a Ukrainian maternity ward bombing. He had an immediate physical reaction, and this became the pivotal point where he said, “we must do something, this just isn’t right!”. Our nonprofit, Refuse to Quit, was born in that moment. Thanks to your generous donations, RTQ has sent funds to directly benefit Ukrainian refugees who’ve been displaced from their homes as a result of Russia’s invasion. We’re working with a selection of charitable organizations in Romania and Ukraine to ensure that our donations go directly to those in need.
RTQ has had an impact. We have donated clothes, food, baby items, candy for children at Christmas, and medical supplies. We’ve supported orphanages, women’s shelters, and the remodel of the aqua therapy center at Okhmatdyt Children’s Hospital in Kyiv, Ukraine’s largest children’s hospital. This hospital was featured on 60Minutes, on December 18, 2022.
So where are we since our December update?
1. We agreed previously to fund the purchase of three much-needed generators in Ukraine, but because of supply issues, we have only been able to send one. Instead, those funds have been diverted to provide more food supplies. Supply chain issues have also interrupted some of our efforts to send food to Ukraine. This has slowed delivery, but not stopped us. Just yesterday, back-ordered food supplies were trucked from Romania to Ukraine. Food shortages remain a reality in Ukraine and their surrounding countries, and we are determined to get food to as many people as we can. Our partners Cristi (he runs a private children’s orphanage with 19 children in Botosani, Romania) and Igor (a Ukrainian minister) say THANK YOU for the support of food items into Ukraine.
2. On January 25th, the demolition phase of the aqua therapy center was complete, and the new construction began. Let us point out that this appears to be happening at a faster rate than the average remodel in the US! Tile work is almost done, and the new windows have been delivered. RTQ donated $20K towards this project. (See the cover photo)
3. In late January, we supplied the sweets (Nataliya’s term for chocolates) for a children’s holiday party. These chocolates were made in Ukraine and given to relocated children.
4. Last week, we sent $4K to purchase self-heating cans of soups and coffee. Many parts of Ukraine are without power or experiencing intermittent power. If these items are received well, we’ll invest an additional amount.
5. Finally, we’d like to share a WhatsApp we received yesterday from our Ukrainian friend Nataliya. She’s been our eyes and ears finding worthwhile causes to support. She’s been our boots on the ground assisting us with logistics and inspections of donated goods and projects. Most of all though, she’s been a good, caring friend. There might be a typo or two, but this is exactly what she wrote.
Tomorrow will be 1 year since the war has started. It changed all of us and way we see the world, our emotios and feelings. So thankful that you reached out to me and served a good example for me and now for all my friends in Ukraine and Austria of how to really care and impact, be the reason of change. 💙💛💙💛💙💛🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦
Together we do a lot of good things!!!
Hope to see all of you soon. 🙏❤
We thank you for your support and generosity. We have been touched by your donations. One young man gives us a donation monthly. Foundations and people like you have opened their hearts and wallets. For that, we are eternally grateful.