My name is Vitaly Kirkpatrick, and I grew up without a loving and caring family in a Ukrainian orphanage. But recent events in Ukraine left me with no choice but to ask for help, not for myself, but families and friends in Ukraine.
The invasion of Ukraine by Russia on February 24th has caused a ripple of shock throughout the world. The international community has come together to support the Ukrainian people. However, many people abroad are unaware of how to contribute. Through GoGetFunding, a fundraiser campaign, and the help of locals in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, assistance can be provided to families and friends affected by the war in Ukraine. With your help, we can make a difference and provide much-needed aid to those affected by the war.
Why is this campaign so close to my heart?
I was raised without a family in Ukraine. However, due to the ongoing Ukraine War, people in Western Ukraine face dire living conditions. Consequently, I am asking for help not on my behalf but for those families and friends of mine in Ukraine who need Ukraine Aid.
I am conscious of the hardships experienced by families in Ukraine, having gone through challenging times myself during my teenage and adult years after leaving an orphanage and foster care. I am familiar with families with children suffering from illnesses and the worsening conditions of our country daily. With the frequent explosions and shelling in many areas, pharmacies, stores with necessities, and other essential infrastructures cease to exist and cease to operate.
The only way to provide Ukrainian aid is to purchase all the essential items they require (food, water, medications, and baby formula for nourishing young ones).
This will help them survive this challenging time without worrying about where their next meal will come from. Additionally, provide them with essential household items such as blankets, soap, and other necessities you can afford. This will help restore some sense of normalcy in their lives and ensure they are comfortable dealing with this crisis.
How can you help?
I am collaborating with people from the area to ensure that resources and money get to the families that require them most. Every time a book is purchased, I will contribute all the revenue to those in need in my hometown Chernivtsi, Ukraine.
Here are the four best ways you can help people in Ukraine:
- Purchasing the book will donate 100% of the profits to help families in West Ukraine;
- $50 or more donation will get a signed copy of the book;
- Any donations above the set amount will be dispersed to other non-profit organizations, and you can also support those groups (links below);
- You can assist by sharing news about this on social media, including @vitalybook, #ukrainianaid, #ukrainewar, #chernivtsi, #vitalybook, and #gogetfunding with the link to this page.
Stories from the Families in Chernivtsi, Ukraine
Many families in Western Ukraine need your help. I asked a few to share their stories with you.
Slavik and Luda Family
Slavik and I both grew up in an orphanage, deprived of the love and guidance of our parents. This is the tale of his life and how the conflict affects his family and acquaintances.
Hello from Chernivtsi, Ukraine. When we first heard the explosions, my wife and daughter were terrified. Because of the war, my family experienced depression. We didn't know what to do because we never had to worry about this situation.
My family lives in a multi-story old panel building built during the USSR. The structure is weak, and parts of the walls peel off to the ground at every explosion. I don't know how long our apartment will stand those trembling explosions. We don't want to end up on the streets like some of our friends in Kyiv did.
We don't have any means to buy food because my wife lost my job, and I am unable to the wages I get to support the entire family. When air sirens sound, we sprint into a very cold shelter located in a basement.My mother-in-law is 80 and can't walk, so she hides in a bathtub in our apartment. We sleep at night in cold basement shelters. It is hard to sleep when it is out, and sirens continuously go off, sometimes 3-4 times a day.
We decided to send our little daughter Vikusya across the border to my wife's sister in Portugal. There are large queues of 8-10 km at the border. Men of age 18-60 are not allowed to leave the country. So, we had to say goodbyes to our only daughter before she left Chernivtsi. A lot of men at the border cry. No gas is available, so whoever can help with gas brings it in the container to fill up the cars so they can make it across the border.
Vikusya had to sleep and stay in our relative's car for three days and nights before finally making it to Portugal. She was brave and didn't cry. She loves theater and art, but all her dreams for the future were taken away from her. She can't go to school anymore until she finds a new school and learns the language there.
Our relative doesn't have money to support her, so we were able to give her all our savings of $400 we've saved over the years, so she can start living life there. It is not much, but it is all we can help her. Any help from you or friends could help our daughter stand on her feet and start going to school one day in Portugal.
I never served in the military. So, I don't have a gun or know how to use it. But I'll fight and do what I can and help the army. I can make a Molotov cocktail. I'll throw it at the enemy.
Many refugees are migrating to Chernivtsi. We try to help them as much as we can. Somebody weaves a male mesh in school; someone makes food for others; someone defends the border in the territorial defense of our city.
We worry about our daughter and miss her very much. We are so happy she is safe, but we don't know when we will see her. Now, we have to take care of our mother-in-law.
We need your help. If you can't help financially, we ask you to please help us by praying for us and Chernivtsi and Ukraine.
Masha was raised in an orphanage with me, never having been able to meet her parents or any other relatives. This is her narrative.
We live in a small room in a dormitory. We share a bathroom, kitchen, and hall. The area of the room is 9.45 square meters.
I worked as a maid and cleaned bathrooms and halls in the kindergarten until the war started on February 24, 2022. I lost income. I am a single mom living off the supplies I stored for winter.
I have a little daughter, Tanya, who, in the winter, saved $50 when she sang carols from house to house, so we use it to buy what we can sparingly to help us survive through this war.
I wanted to save this money to take Tanya to the park in the summer, treat her with ice cream, and buy some soda and treats. But now Tanya says, “Mommy, take my money and buy us food.” I cried and replied, “No, Tanya, you keep them. Maybe this war will all end soon.” But now the war keeps going on the 12th day, and we don't have any choice but use her money. My neighbors share food with my daughter and me to help us survive.
Today is March 7, and tomorrow we will have March 8, which is International Women's Day. Today we watched on TV the greetings for our women. But we can't celebrate this day in peace. There is nothing to celebrate during this time. Our women dress up in military uniforms and go to war to help soldiers fight the enemy.
Tanya cries at night when air sirens go off. She can't sleep. She is only nine years old and now witnessing the war. Russian invaders bomb houses of civilians and destroy our churches and children's playgrounds, even if there is no Ukrainian military.
I love my daughter, Tanya, and will do anything for her to keep her safe and fed. Any help, food, clothes, and medication are genuinely appreciated.
I first encountered Ivan in 2016 when I had a company called CloviTek. He was an Electrical Engineer and was extremely helpful in developing and constructing the product. Unfortunately, the business failed due to the pandemic, and I lost all of my possessions, including the advanced hearing aid I had constructed with the assistance of Ivan and his colleagues at ARTKB. He is presently unemployed and assisting other people in need.
Ivan is in Kyiv, doing his best to aid those who require it the most. He is offering rides for those who cannot afford the rising gas costs, no matter the personal cost to him. Ivan also purchases medicine and food for those forced to evacuate and take shelter. Fortunately, his family is safe. However, his sister Mary did not escape so lucky. Her residence was destroyed, and she was forced to relocate to the West of Ukraine. She no longer has a home, having spent her entire life in Kyiv.
Here is Ivan's sister's, Mary, story
We bought our apartment in 2012. The house was completed in more than 2 years. Our family moved into an apartment in 2015. We moved in on the 22nd floor with a beautiful view on three sides of the building.
On the morning of February 24, 2022, there were sirens and explosions around Kyiv. The sounds of air sirens lasted through the whole day. Everyone felt something was coming, but nobody believed that disaster was near. We spent the night of February 25 in our apartment. Adults hardly slept that night. We read the news and listened to the radio. Our sons, Yura and Mykola, slept next to us in the children's room.
After we heard the news, we decided to go down in the evening and spend the night on February 26 in a bomb shelter near the house. We took with us the most necessary things and documents. We did not hear the siren when we woke up around 8 am, but we all felt a deafening explosion. Everyone was shaking, and we dashed into the bomb shelter.
After reading online news, we learned that our house was affected. From photos and videos on the Internet, we saw that the floor of our apartment was at the epicenter of the explosion. The Ministry of Emergencies and the police forbade the residents to enter the house.
On Monday, February 28, when the Ministry of Emergencies began to strengthen the floors from further collapse, we walked into the apartment for half an hour through the building. We saw a lot of destruction there. Our boys' room, where they had slept two nights before, was utterly destroyed. We all were in shock.
This was our last visit to the apartment.
We are now in western Ukraine. Our family has many children. We are raising a 20-year-old daughter and two sons, ages 8 and 12.
We don't know how long the war will last, but we hope and pray that it will end soon. Our children need to eat. And, without a job, we cannot support them for too long. We pray for support and the end of this war.
How to help Ukraine from the USA
Suppose we can collect more money than is necessary for our loved ones in Ukraine. In that case, the surplus will be given to one of the following charitable organizations based in the United States that offer aid to Ukraine and Ukrainians.
- Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) –Collects donations for humanitarian needs – by link.
- United Help Ukraine – Collects donations for life-saving medical supplies for the front of Ukraine – link.
- Revived Soldiers Ukraine – Collects donations for treating the wounded and providing hospitals – link.
- Razom for Ukraine – Collects donations for tactical medical training and emergency response in Ukraine – link.
- Nova Ukraine – is a nonprofit that delivers aid packages to Ukraine with everything from baby food and hygiene products to clothes and household supplies. Nova Ukraine collects donations for humanitarian aid to Ukraine – link.
- Sunflower of Peace – Collects donations for tactical medical training – link.
- Hromada – Collects donations to children whose parents gave their lives in the Russian-Ukrainian war – link.
- People in need provide humanitarian Aid to over 200,000 people on the ground. They provide food packages, emergency shelter, safe access to drinking water, hygiene items, and coal for heating for those most in need.
- The Ukrainian Red Cross does loads of humanitarian work, from aiding refugees to training doctors.
- CARE International is responding to the crisis by providing Ukrainians in need with food, hygiene kits, psychosocial support services, water access, and cash access.
- UNICEF Ukraine is repairing schools damaged by the bombings and providing emergency responses to children affected by the conflict.