MANCHESTER, NH – One of the best things about New Hampshire is the spirit of its residents. Those people who can take an idea, roll up their sleeves and start making things happen.
It’s happening right now as the Ukraine crisis nearly 5,000 miles away. What began as a conversation during the NH Business segment hosted by Fred Kocher on WMUR has catapulted into a collaborative, statewide effort to bring relief to those enduring the Ukraine crisis.
This week the New Hampshire Ukraine Relief Fund launches, thanks to the vision and collaboration of Sean O’Kane, former commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development, David Tille, former New England Regional Administrator of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Alex Ray, owner of The Common Man Family in New Hampshire, John Tinios, owner of the Galley Hatch & Popover Restaurants, Patrick Tufts, President and CEO of Granite United Way, the Lech Walesa Institute in Poland, and Dean Kamen, founder of DEKA.
“During that NH Business segment, we began talking about our connections to Ukraine, and what we could do to help those in need,” said Sean O’Kane, who led the first-ever US trade mission there in 2005 and have maintained friendships there with several people since. “It’s gone from a conversation to a humanitarian relief campaign we are launching this week.”
The group connected with Patrick Tufts, President and CEO of Granite United Way, to develop an efficient and effective way to handle monetary donations.
One hundred percent of donations will be directed to relief efforts in Ukraine, through a partnership between Granite United Way and the Walesa Institute.
“This effort showcases how New Hampshire often uniquely addresses things,” said Tufts, “We are a state of visionary, compassionate and driven individuals. While we recognize that no single entity can solve one of the world’s most complex issues, we do know that together we can create true impact.”
Donations for the New Hampshire Ukraine Relief Fund can be made by online giving on www.graniteuw.org or by texting NH4UKRAINE to 41444.
Tille has a strong tie to the Ukraine as well. Over the summer, he hosted three members of the Ukraine Parliament here in New Hampshire. He has also helped to coordinate the upcoming visit of Lech Walesa, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who served as the President of Poland between 1990 and 1995, when he will receive an honorary degree from Tille’s alma mater, New England College in Henniker.
“The needs are being identified in real-time. I am in touch daily with Ukraine members of parliament and aid workers in Ukraine,” said Tille. “Recently, I received a video from Roman Hryshchuk, a member of parliament who had been here just this summer, thanking New Hampshire while wearing his Boston Red Sox cap. There are real ways we can help them, right now.”
In addition to monetary support, a widespread collection drive for specific items that are immediately needed.
Collection Event Dates
- Thursday, April 14, 2022
- Friday, April 15, 2022
- Saturday, April 16, 2022
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. each day
540 Commercial Street
From Sunday, April 10 – Sunday, April 17, Common Man restaurants throughout the state will also serve as a drop off location for this effort, thanks to owner Alex Ray. Donated items will be collected at each of their sites. View locations at theCman.com.
The list of NEW, UNUSED ITEMS needed are:
- Tactical First Aid kits
- Hemostatic gauze
- Occlusive tape
- Burn bandages
- Sterile wipes
- Elastic bandages
- Pill packs
- Tracheostomy kits
- NPA masks
- Pain meds (Tylenol, ibruprofin)
- Personal hygiene products
- Heavy-duty hunting or military boots
- Heavy-duty gloves
- Sleeping bags
- Insulated sleeping mats
- Sanitary wipes
- Boxes of tampons
To learn more about the New Hampshire Ukraine Relief Fund, visit www.graniteuw.org.
Granite United Way is an experienced and trusted organization dedicated to leveraging the resources of investors and volunteers to create lasting change by addressing the underlying causes of our community’s most pressing needs. United Way’s purpose is to convene public, private, and governmental leaders and resources to tackle the largest, most pressing issues facing our community. Granite United Way fights for the education, health and financial stability of everyone in every community.
Each year, 1 in 3 residents of New Hampshire and Windsor County, Vermont engage with Granite United Way as a donor, volunteer or beneficiary of a United Way-funded program. Granite United Way, the merger of 6 local United Ways, mobilizes the power of 22,000 donors and volunteers to provide more than $14 million in support to over 350,000 individuals and provides funding to more than 750 nonprofit programs. Granite United Way is rated a Platinum level participant by GuideStar and holds a Three Star Charity rating by Charity Navigator.
Granite United Way serves the Central Region, Greater Seacoast Region, Merrimack County, North Country, Northern Region, Southern Region (Manchester / Derry / Salem) and Upper Valley Regions of New Hampshire as well as Windsor County, Vermont. For more information, visit www.graniteuw.org.