Help Ukrainian Families Stay Connected! Computers 2 Kids (C2K) and Nova Ukraine have partnered to provide Ukrainian refugees in the US with refurbished and deeply discounted laptops/desktops. Your donated electronics will receive a second chance to help a Ukrainian family stay connected during their transition to the United States.
Help a refugee family start their new life in the USA by donating your used car. All donations are tax-deductible. Cars must be in running and safe condition. Contact [email protected]for more information.
Offer Your Home
Nova Ukraine Emergency Housing
Our emergency housing hotline deals with the most desperate cases. Sign up to host an individual or a family for a few days or a few months.
Monetary funds remain the most impactful contribution individuals can make towards helping refugees – both in the United States and abroad. These funds are used for evacuations, shelters, food and water, and critical legal and medical support to help refugees find their way.
Please select “refugee support and resettlement” to allocate these funds to our refugee efforts.
As we mark World Refugee Day, an international day to honor refugees, we invite you to celebrate the strength and courage of all those forced to flee their homes in Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion in February.
Zimmerman is a cofounder and marketing director of Nova Ukraine, a Silicon Valley-based organization founded in 2014, the same year as Putin’s annexation of Crimea. The organization has raised more than $22.5 million in donations thus far, distributed as medical, evacuation, pet rescue and food aid. They’ve also collaborated with multiple international organizations, currently fundraising with UNICEF and collaborating with Airbnb to secure fleeing refugees with housing vouchers.
Aid workers are no strangers to working among wreckage, through air sirens, and sometimes even under active fire. Unfortunately, it is not only brave volunteers who are in harm’s way. No region of Ukraine is safe. Just this week, Russian long range missiles struck a shopping mall in Kremenchuk, Poltava oblast, central Ukraine – over 400km from the front lines. Over a thousand civilians are estimate to have been in the building at the moment – workers, visitors, families with children. The attack left at least 20 dead, and dozens more still missing.
The requests we hear from Ukrainian families are laced with desperation. Many families beg for the most basic things – a gallon of water, a pack of diapers, food to last the week. Your donations support volunteers in all regions of Ukraine, including emergency workers in Poltava. Our efforts continue to rebuild the pillaged homes in Bucha, deliver water to the residents of Mykolaiv, and support aid groups in the occupied regions of Kherson.
Natalia is Building a New Life from the Ashes of War
Nova Ukraine’s Adopt-a-Family program is a pilot program of direct financial support for Ukrainian refugees, both in Ukraine and in the United States. The program pairs donors and families in a very personal and direct way. Each donor of the program is paired directly with a family in need. After receiving the donation, recipients send us a photo or a personal message to pass along to our donors.
Natalia Chernys is one such recipient of an Adopt a Family donation. Her story has touched us in a very personal way, although her plight is not all that different from that of the many refugees who make it to these shores after a long ordeal.
Natalia never intended to leave Ukraine before the war. After the Russians invaded Ukraine, Natalia, her daughter and father sat tight for a full month, hiding in a bomb shelter in the outskirts of Kyiv, in a neighborhood bordering Bucha. “The streets were flooded by local residents who destroyed the dam to keep the enemy from passing to Kyiv,” Natalia recalls. “We patiently endured the fear and horror that was happening in our bloodied country.”
But then the fighting came closer and closer to their home. The last straw was when a cruise missile destroyed a nearby shopping center where her daughter used to work before the war. Natalia packed her daughter, father, their two cats and a dog in her car and began a long, harrowing, and often perilous journey — first through active war zones and eventually to Lviv and then Poland.
As we previously reported, the city of Mykolaiv has been without clean water for over 75 days. The water systems in the southern city of Ukraine were damaged by Russian shelling, and active fighting in the area makes repairs impossible. Residents continue to stand in long lines for just a few gallon bottles per family. Your donations have offered a glimmer of hope to this proud city – using Nova Ukraine grants, volunteers have dug two operational water wells in Mykolaiv, and tested the water to make sure it is safe to drink. They now distribute the water to residents from a local source, and deliver large barrels of water to residents who live full time in makeshift bomb shelters.
Natalia Chernysh never intended to leave Ukraine and become a refugee. After the Russians invaded Ukraine, Natalia, her daughter and father sat tight for a full month, hiding in a bomb shelter in the outskirts of Kyiv, in a neighborhood bordering Bucha.
“The streets were flooded by local residents who destroyed the dam to keep the enemy from passing to Kyiv,” Natalia recalls. “We patiently endured the fear and horror that was happening in our bloodied country.”
But then the fighting came closer and closer to their home. The last straw was when a cruise missile destroyed a nearby shopping center where her daughter used to work before the war. Natalia packed her daughter, father, their two cats and a dog in her car and began a long, harrowing, convoluted, and often perilous journey — first through active war zones and eventually to Lviv and then Poland. She hoped to stay there, but Warsaw and Krakow were both overcrowded and overrun with Ukrainian refugees.
Natalia and her family decided to leave Europe and try to make it to the United States. In the process they had to leave their beloved dog behind, since they found no way to transport him.
“We flew with a heavy heart and tears through Paris, Mexico City, Tijuana, and finally to the border with the United States.”
By the time she made it to the border crossing, however, Natalia’s will to carry on began to wane. Her savings were gone and her father was sick on the road. But for the volunteers who helped them — first in Tijuana, and then Nova Ukraine here — Natalia may have given up altogether.
“We didn’t have the strength to carry on and keep fighting,” she said. “It was incredible to feel the warmth these volunteers showed us. For the rest of our lives we will be grateful to them.”
Once they arrived in San Francisco, Natalia’s family faced a whole new set of hurdles. They could not afford the astronomical housing prices in California. Nor did they have money for necessities such as hearing aids for her father, driving lessons, or the $820 application fee for a work permit. They were even denied food stamps. Natalia seemed to have reached the end of her rope yet again. “I’m trying to look for a way to get by and can’t find it,” she said. “I can’t do everything. If we are denied a work permit … I’m afraid to even imagine.”
Fortunately for her, Nova Ukraine stepped in. First we secured emergency housing for Natalia and her family for a period of three months, until she can get settled and find work. Then, through our Adopt-a-Family program, we put Natalia in touch with a generous donor. The contribution she received went toward basic necessities: food for the family and the cats, a hearing aid for her father, and various application fees.
“We feel infinite gratitude for the material assistance we received from your program and the generous donors that helped us,” Natalia wrote in her thank-you note. “We are touched and grateful for this compassion and generosity.”
Natalia and her family are one of more than 100 families that Nova Ukraine has paired with donors to date. For recipients, the program can be a lifeline at a very difficult inflection point in their lives. For donors, it is a personal way to see the difference their contribution makes.
“I chose to donate to the Adopt-A-Family program to help Ukrainian refugees here in the U.S. since they deserve to feel welcomed and supported by their new community,” said Jaelyn Miles, one of the donors in our program. “I feel good knowing that I am helping them kickstart a new life here. The letter I received from the family helped me feel a connection to them.”
I feel good knowing that I am helping them kickstart a new life here. The letter I received from the family helped me feel a connection to them.
Ukrainian emergency workers are brave, professional, and very patriotic people. Acting fast is the most important thing in their job. “That’s why Nova Ukraine have supported our heroes so that they could focus on saving lives and didn’t have to worry about having a full gas tank in the emergency vehicles” – NU Kyiv Office Director Ihor Noshchenko.
Thanks to your donations, we delivered a fuel storage tank for Kyiv State Emergency Service. This storage can store 20 tons of fuel, which will keep an emergency unit up and running for over 6 months. This means thousands of lives saved. Not to mention city properties and historical buildings. This all happened thanks to the contributions of hundreds of Americans that care about Ukrainian people. Thank you!
Naturally, we want to give our children all the best in this life. This year it is especially difficult to achieve this mission in Ukraine – children are being born under enemy fire, they celebrate birthdays to the sound of air sirens, and many have lost their loved ones and had to flee their homes.
“That is why on Children’s Day we wanted to do something different, not just distribute sweets and toys, although this is also important. Because Nova Ukraine is always about something more. Earlier we learned about this organization in Kryvyi Rih called KRC Shelter+. Our volunteer happened to be there, so she took over the coordination of the project and it turned out to be an amazing collaboration” – Katya Bezsudna, Nova Ukraine.
KGC Shelter+ is a local Kryvyi Rih initiative that has existed for over 20 years. Children here take art classes, play sports, and perform in a local theater studio. In March 2022, KGC Shelter+ started hosting a new kind of guests – people who fled Donet’sk, Luhans’k, Kherson, and Mykolayiv regions and came to ask for humanitarian aid. About one hundred families are being supported in the center so far.
“The number may seem small for such a big country like Ukraine, but we are talking about long-term help here. These children are able to go to our classes and meetups, they have also met friends and they are happy here. Some of the children that have gone through very difficult times are also going to therapy sessions” – Roman Morozov, Program Director of the Shelter+.
For one day, thanks to your donations, this center became a magical place: where kids could hang out with Harry Potter and attend his potion lessons, meet the Faun from The Chronicles of Narnia and chit chat with Paddington Bear and friends.
Every child also received a gift from Nova Ukraine. The youngest, 0-2 years old, got Montessori-approved toys. Children 3-18 years old received all kinds of books, board games, and other learning materials. Of course, we could not forget the urgent basic needs of people who have left their comfortable daily routine, so NU volunteers also provided funds for basic necessities for each child.
Refugees from the besieged city of Mariupol have survived unspeakable horrors, including more than a month of non stop shelling, and then life under the Russian occupation in the city.
One refugee recalls sharing a basement with 106 others during the bombardment of Mariupol. One day, she told volunteers: “It was warm and the sun was shining and we all left the basement to breathe fresh air and cook outdoors. Suddenly we see a few men passing by the yard. They were dressed entirely in black with balaclavas on their faces. They started filming us on their phones and laughing.”
“Seconds after they left, shells flew directly into our yard. We ran but were thrown by the shock waves from the explosions. The guy who was cooking had his legs badly injured, with chunks of meat torn off his legs. Another person’s shoulder was badly cut, so we sewed it up with regular sewing thread since we had nothing else for it. We don’t know what we did to provoke the attack, we were just laughing and cooking.”
For many refugees in occupied zones, the only means of escape is evacuation to Russian territory. It is estimated over a million Ukrainians were loaded on buses, detained in filtration camps, and relocated to Russia, presumably to resettle them there. Those allowed to leave find themselves trapped deep within Russian borders with no place to go.
Volunteer crews in Russia have stepped up to evacuate many of these refugees to safety across the border to Latvia and Estonia, despite the personal risk of arrest. The German nonprofit organization Rubikus, with funding by Nova Ukraine, coordinates housing and transportation from the Russian border to final destinations in Europe. The volunteers work with each family to develop individualized travel plans.
Refugees who make the journey to Russia describe passing through “filtration camps” — usually Russian-run police stations — where they are fingerprinted, interrogated and debriefed to ascertain their political loyalties. Families are separated, and some refugees are stripped naked and examined for pro-Ukrainian tattoos and military scars.
For the past few months Helping Hand has tried to rebuild people’s shattered lives one brick and one home at a time. The volunteer crew of construction workers funded by Nova Ukraine go home to home in villages and cities in the outskirts of Kyiv, assessing the damage and rebuilding homes. They also remove debris and alert authorities of unexploded ordnance.
This time, they removed a slightly more unusual piece of debris from someone’s yard: a bombed Russian tank.
Refugees from the besieged city of Mariupol have survived unspeakable horrors, including over a month of non stop shelling, and then life under the Russian occupation in the city.
One refugee recalls sharing a basement with 106 others during the bombardment in Mariupol. One day, she told volunteers: “It was warm and the sun was shining and we all left the basement to breathe fresh air and cook outdoors. Suddenly we see a few men passing by the yard. They were dressed entirely in black with balaclavas on their faces. They started filming us on their phones and laughing. “
“Seconds after they left, shells flew directly into our yard. We ran but were thrown by the shock waves from the explosions. One guy cooking was badly injured in the legs, chunks of meat torn off of his legs. Another person’s shoulder was badly cut, so we sewed it up with regular sewing thread since we had nothing else for it. We don’t know what we did to provoke the attack, we were just laughing and cooking food.”
For many refugees in occupied zones, the only means of escape is evacuation to Russian territory. It is estimated over a million Ukrainians were loaded on buses, detained in filtration camps, and relocated to Russia, presumably to resettle there. Many find themselves trapped deep within Russian borders with no place to go.
Volunteer crews in Russia have stepped up to evacuate many of these refugees to safety across the border to Latvia and Estonia despite the crackdown of Russian authorities. The German nonprofit organization Rubikus, with funding by Nova Ukraine, coordinates housing and transportation to other countries in Europe. They work with each family to develop individualized travel plans.
Refugees describe passing through “filtration camps” — usually Russian-run police stations — where they are fingerprinted, interrogated and debriefed to ascertain their political loyalties. Families are separated, and some refugees are stripped naked and examined for pro-Ukrainian tattoos and military scars.
“The filtration camp in Dokuchaevsk was in a public school,” recalls one of the refugees. “We slept on desks, mats, and on the floor. There were no beds. They just threw down clothes. At least there was hot water – at 4 in the morning. We could wash in the sink for the first time in a month and a half. But after a week we were taken to a second camp, and that was much worse. There were no toilets or wash basins, just a latrine hole that was dug next to the recreation center, which was lined with pallets.
“We were driven like cattle, lined up like children, 2 by 2 holding hands,” she continued. “It was more scary for the men, because there were rumors they would be taken for interrogations, that they would take your documents and send you to the front to fight. But we were lucky: we went through all the checks in 4 hours: fingerprints, phone scans. Then we could go —- but no one told us where.”
In Russia, refugees are free to leave – but at their own expense. Russian volunteers have been aiding refugees, at great personal risk, to reach the Russian border with Latvia and Estonia. From there, volunteers funded by Nova Ukraine provide travel arrangements, money, and accommodation for each family to their final destination. For most families, this is somewhere in Europe. Others seek to return to Ukraine.
One family describes: “We spoke with a volunteer and by the next day we had tickets sent to us. After crossing the border, we were contacted by another volunteer who told us what to expect in Riga, ordered our tickets for the ferry, and reserved a room for us in a hostel. The volunteers greatly simplified our journey.”
In this way, your donations have helped over 1840 families escape from Russia. Sadly, only those who “pass” filtration camps are allowed to leave. The fate of those who did not is currently unknown.
Refugees escaping Russia pass through Rubikus hostels on their way from Latvia to final destinations in Europe
The neighbors refer to her as a local good witch. Like Baba Yaga from Slavic fairy tales, she rolls eggs on plates to tell fortunes, warns of diseases, and removes evil marks. After the Russian invasion, however, Galina Stepanivna did more than tell fortunes. She cooked for Ukrainian soldiers fighting in one of the war’s fiercest battles in the village of Moshchun, north of Bucha.
When artillery fire hit her home, Galina was hiding in the cellar. The roof of the house collapsed and a shockwave threw her across the room. She survived but others did not. “A boy was torn to pieces so bad, only his leg was found,” she said. Galina and her husband fled.
On March 21 Ukrainian forces liberated Moshchun. Galina returned to find all her belongings gone and her home in ruin. She asked the authorities for help and was told they will rebuild — but only after the end of the war.
“But where do we live until then?” she asked. “In a dog house?”
Fortunately for Galina, rescue came. A volunteer crew of construction workers, funded by Nova Ukraine, go home to home, assessing the damage and rebuilding homes. They call themselves “Helping Hand” and work in villages and cities in the outskirts of Kyiv.
“In Moshchun, not a single building was left standing,” said Sergey Stetch, a small business owner who founded the group. “It’s a small village of 250 buildings, nearly all of them totaled. People cannot evacuate forever. They dream of coming home but they return to ashes.”
Construction work is not all Helping Hand does. After Ukrainian forces liberated Bucha Helping Hand became the first volunteer group to enter this city. “What I saw will leave a deep mark on me for life,” recalls Stetch. “A formerly peaceful town with bright life, now in ruins, strewn with the bodies of the dead. But we have no right to lose heart or give up.”
Speaking of Galina and their work in Moschun, Sergey told us, “Galina was one of the last to leave the village and one of the first to return. She is a very energetic old woman. Her faith and tenacity delights all of us.
“We help her, take the debris out of her ruined yard, and we fix the roof. She’s really lucky her house survived, even if only partially. The roof needs to be completely redone and one wall needs to be completely rebuilt. She is not discouraged and does not talk about her misfortune.”
The need for assistance far outpaces Helping Hand’s ability to provide it. In particular, the volunteers need heavy equipment such as cranes, bulldozers and excavators. Local companies refuse to lease this equipment due to the risk of damage from explosives.
Galina’s story is a perfect example of the ongoing importance of our work restoring infrastructure in Ukraine. Without timely help, residents remain homeless or displaced and homes and businesses may be further damaged. Donate to help our construction efforts »
“Massive aid will soon support the rebuilding of Ukraine, and we see major opportunities in the energy, construction, medical and telecoms sectors,” Markov said.
“Without doubt, Ukraine will soon become a new country — renewed physical appearance, more confident, creative and forward-looking labor force, as well as more modern, more effective government trusted by the people.”
It takes a village to collect more than 350,000 dollars’ worth of medical supplies and equipment and then deliver it to a hospital in Ukraine. A global village, that is, comprised of a compassionate community in southern Nevada, Nova Ukraine, and a dedicated surgeon who never takes no for an answer.
When the war in Ukraine broke out, Las Vegas surgeon Linda Halderman felt helpless that she could not use her medical skills to heal the wounded in Ukraine. “It was very difficult for me to watch knowing that I can stop a hemorrhage and that 90 percent of war injuries that take lives are hemorrhage injuries,” she said. “I wanted to be there on the scene to help.”
Mission: Supply Ukraine
She made inquiries, but soon realized that without a military background she could not be of much help in the warzone. But by collecting medical supplies for hospitals on the frontlines she could help many more people than by applying tourniquets to the wounded herself.
Early in April Halderman began to get word out about her project via social media and through her large circle of personal and professional connections. This was a labor of love for the surgeon whose grandparents were all immigrants from Ukraine. Soon, the proverbial village came through — in more ways than she could have imagined.
The community rises to the challenge
Bill Rainer, a retired vascular surgeon from Colorado donated the entire contents of his former outpatient surgery center — valued over $100,000 — including 500 surgical instruments, a ventilator, and an anesthesia machine.
Bobby Layton, a master carpenter in Las Vegas, constructed a special crate in which to ship the heavy and fragile equipment. He even made it reusable: with a slight modification the crate could double as a children’s playhouse.
The Viticus Center, an education non-profit from Las Vegas, donated space at their warehouse for the donated medical supplies to be stored until they could be shipped to Ukraine. They even provided the packing materials and pallets in which the supplies would be shipped.
Further assistance came from countless other individuals and organizations, including the American College of Surgeons, the Clark County Office of Emergency Management, University Medical Center, and Ukrainians in Nevada.
The supplies were all on a list of critical supplies posted on the website of the Ukrainian Ministry of Health. Said Halderman: “The shortages experienced by frontline physicians and nurses were so basic. I spoke with a commander in Mykolaiv who told me, ‘we have a battalion with 200 men and six tourniquets.’ A tourniquet is a life! The idea that this little $20 plastic and cloth piece was not available was sickening.”
Transport to Ukraine
The job of transporting the supplies into a war zone across the world was beyond the financial and logistical ability of any one person. Enter Nova Ukraine. Our volunteers have become experts in coordinating the complexity of delivering medical supplies to the far corners of Ukraine, and have direct connections to hospitals where the supplies are needed most. Nova Ukraine handled all the complex logistics involved in this transport, from Las Vegas to Dnipro.
“Nova Ukraine volunteers said ‘Let’s make this happen.’ They figured out how to do it. There was a problem with a ventilator which exceeded the cargo space requirements. Within 48 hours they had the space for that piece as well.”
On May 16, a ton and a half of equipment and supplies was flown out of Los Angeles to Austria. From there it traveled by train to Poland, to Lviv in Ukraine, and finally to the Dnipro Regional Clinical Hospital II (Mechnikov). This hospital sits on the front lines and sees many wounded, as well as being in the center of several camps for internally displaced persons.
Six weeks was all it took from the time Halderman set the process in motion until the supplies landed in Dnipro.
“I want people to know this is possible,” Halderman says. “It doesn’t take a superman. You have to want it badly enough and never, never, never, never accept the word ‘no.’”
Halderman will continue her volunteer work on behalf of Ukraine and looks forward to the day when the war is over and she can travel to the land of her ancestors to help with the recovery effort. In the meantime, she says, “I hope Ukrainians know that at the very least, they’re not in this alone.”
Dr. Halderman’s story is just one shipment of many. Thanks to your donations, the Nova Ukraine medical team has supplied over 12 million dollars worth of medical supplies to over 140 hospitals in Ukraine. Support our medical supply efforts in Ukraine »