How to Help Ukraine and Other Regions in Crisis
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has sparked a new refugee crisis while raising awareness about the needs of millions of refugees around the world, and underscoring how racism and bias can obstruct those seeking safe haven.
Union County residents are encouraged to donate to local efforts in aid of Ukrainian refugees, and to international aid organizations in this time of extraordinary need.
A donation drive for emergency items in aid of Ukrainian refugees has been organized by 24 law enforcement agencies in Union County. Donation bins are available at:
- Offices of local police departments
- Office of the Union County Sheriff (lobby of the County Administration Building, 10 Elizabethtown Plaza in Elizabeth)
- Office of the Prosecutor (lobby of the Ruotolo Building, 32 Rahway Avenue in Elizabeth)
- Union County Division of Police (lobby of the Ralph J. Froehlich Public Safety Building, 400 North Avenue East in Westfield)
- On Saturday March 26 only, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office and the Union Police Department will also accept donations during the Union County St. Patrick’s Day Parade, starting at 1:00 p.m. at the corner of Caldwell and Morris Avenues in Union Township.
Financial donations: In addition to the Red Cross, many other international aid organizations are accepting donations in aid of refugees from Ukraine and other regions facing humanitarian crises, including:
- International Rescue Committee
- Doctors without Borders
- World Central Kitchen
- UNHCR (the United Nations Refugee Agency)
The following organizations are listed by the office of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy for aid specifically to Ukraine refugees:
- Ukrainian National Women’s League of America (partners with New Jersey Hospital Association)
- Ukrainian American Cultural Center of New Jersey
- US-Ukraine Foundation (partners with American Hospital Association, Greater New York Hospital Association, and Afya Foundation)
The following organizations focus on overcoming racism and bias faced by non-citizen refugees attempting to flee Ukraine into Poland:
- United Sikhs, works with immigrants and minority communities around the world
- Fundacja Ocalenie (Rescue Foundation) provides resources for foreigners in Poland
Union County residents can also reach out to a their local civic or faith organization to find out how to help non-citizens, especially people of color, who have been victimized by racism and bias while attempting to flee Ukraine.
The Union County Board of County Commissioners works with faith based and non-profit organizations to help ensure justice and fairness for undocumented persons in our community, and to help legal immigrants on a path to full citizenship.
Recent actions include:
- Resolution condemning the attack on Ukraine, 2022.
- Assistance for Afghan refugees, 2021.
- Support for path to citizenship, 2015.
- Justice for immigrant families, 2014.
Additional Aid Organizations (this list will be updated periodically)
- CARE: Water, food, hygiene kits and other aid prioritizing women, girls, families, and the elderly through the Ukrainian Crisis Fund.
- International Medical Corps: Healthcare services, psychosocial support, and other services.
- Project Hope: Coordinates with health-care workers to provide on-the-ground medical support to countries in crisis
- Save the Children: Hygiene kits, food and water, financial support, and mental health services through the Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund.
- Voices of Children: Art therapy and other forms of trauma support for children.
Full text of Union County press release, March 4, 2022:
Union County Commissioner Board Condemns Attack on Ukraine
Union County, NJ – March 4, 2022 – The Union County Board of County Commissioners condemns the unprovoked attack by Russia on Ukraine and encourages County residents to support organizations that are providing medical assistance and other supplies to victims of the war, including refugees as well as those within Ukraine.
The Ukrainian flag has also been raised at the Union County Courthouse, at 2 Broad Street in Elizabeth, as symbol of solidarity.
“The democracies of the world have united to condemn the attack, and a coalition of allies led by the United States has taken action to assist Ukraine. In support of this effort, we encourage Union County residents to help the people of Ukraine by contributing to reliable, trusted aid organizations that are providing medical supplies, food, and other forms of relief,” said Commissioner Chair Rebecca Williams.
In addition to the Ukrainian Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross, some of the many aid organizations accepting contributions are:
Doctors without Borders: Mobilized in Ukraine and nearby countries to provide medical support.
International Medical Corps: Healthcare services, psychosocial support, and other services.
International Rescue Committee: Resources for refugees facing a humanitarian crisis.
Project Hope: Coordinates with health-care workers to provide on-the-ground medical support to countries in crisis
US-Ukraine-Foundation: airlifting medical supplies into Ukraine.
Voices of Children: Art therapy and other forms of trauma support for children.
On Thursday, March 3, the Commissioner Board passed a resolution, sponsored by the entire Board, condemning the declaration of war and subsequent invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation last week, and supporting the right of Ukraine to exist as a democratic, independent nation free of the influence of Russia or any other country.
The full text of the resolution is as follows:
WHEREAS, On February 24, 2022, the Russian Federation declared war and began a large-scale invasion of Ukraine from the North, East, and South and bombed various regions across Ukraine including the capital of Kyiv in violation of international law; and
Whereas, As of February 28, 2022, a United Nations human rights monitoring team had confirmed 376 civilian casualties in Ukraine, including 94 deaths, after only three days of fighting, and that as each day has passed, more casualties have been tallied and more destruction documented; and
WHEREAS, the United States of America, as well as the international community have responded to these violations by levying some of the toughest sanctions ever imposed against Russia and top Russian individuals, resulting in immediate and significant financial consequences for the Russian banking and financial markets; and
WHEREAS, the State of New Jersey condemns the invasion of Ukraine, and supports continued diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict, echoing the voices of people all over the world in saying “No” to war; and
WHEREAS, the people of Ukraine, led by their democratically elected President Volodymyr Zelenskyy have shown unwavering bravery in response to the unprovoked act of aggression by Russia and are determined to preserve their country and democracy:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that this Board joins with the Legislature of the State of New Jersey and condemns the invasion of Ukraine by Russia and supports the citizens of Ukraine in pursuing democracy and independence. In addition, this Board supports New Jersey’s proposed ban on pension fund and local government investment deals with Russia and Belarus;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of County Commissioners implores Russia to return to diplomatic solutions to resolve this situation with the democratic and independent government of Ukraine.
For information and updates on all Union County services during the COVID-19 outbreak, including free vaccination, free testing, emergency food distribution and other support services, visit ucnj.org/covid19. General information about COVID-19 is available through the New Jersey Department of Health at nj.gov/health.
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