CHICAGO (WLS) -- Illinois Helps Ukraine, a major fundraising campaign to benefit Ukrainian children and families suffering from the devastating effects of war, is a joint initiative between the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art and the Illinois Broadcasters Association, among others, in support of UNICEF's efforts in Ukraine.
Beginning Monday, April 4, television and radio stations in Chicago and throughout Illinois will join forces to broadcast public service messages encouraging Illinoisans to help Ukrainian refugees by donating to UNICEF USA at www.unicefusa.org/illinois.
Contributions can also be made by accessing a QR code that will be displayed during public service announcements and various news stories. The campaign will culminate in a live fundraiser which will take place at the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art, Wednesday, April 13 from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. The fundraiser will feature Ukrainian civic and cultural leaders who will offer their perspective on the crisis in Ukraine and the country's future.
According to a recent statement by UNICEF USA, two million children have now been forced to flee Ukraine, as the war rages on.
"The situation inside Ukraine is spiraling," said UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell. "As the number of children fleeing their homes continues to climb, we must remember that every single one of them needs protection, education, safety and support."
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The goal of Illinois Helps Ukraine is to raise $1,000,000 with all proceeds going to UNICEF. UNICEF is a non-profit organization that advocates for the well-being of children and families all over the world and is currently dedicating resources to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine.
Melody Spann-Cooper, WVON/Chicago and chairwoman of the Illinois Broadcasters Association, said, "Our members are proud to be joining hands to assist UNICEF in the enormous challenge they face to help as many children and families as possible whose lives have been so shattered by this brutal war." The Illinois Broadcasters Association is urging its members throughout the state to join the campaign.
In a joint statement, Motria Melnyk, president of the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art and Marta Farion, vice president said, "The war in Ukraine is breaking all of our hearts and so the opportunity to make our facility the staging area for this amazing fundraising effort was enthusiastically welcomed by our board and staff."
In addition to her work at the Ukrainian Institute, Farion is also the president of the Kyiv-Mohyla Foundation of America.
Illinois Helps Ukraine is spearheaded in part by Steve Robinson, president of New Media Productions.
"Chicago's TV and radio stations have always been devoted to public service and joining hands for a joint fundraising campaign to assist UNICEF in this emergency speaks to that commitment," said Robinson.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to pursue a more equitable world for every child. UNICEF has helped save more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. UNICEF USA advances the global mission of UNICEF by rallying the American public to support the world's most vulnerable children. Together, we are working toward a world that upholds the rights of all children and helps every child thrive. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.
UNICEF has been in Ukraine for 25 years, and it is on the ground now, delivering safe water, health and hygiene supplies, blankets, warm clothes and psycho-social care to children and their families.
THE UKRAINIAN INSTITUTE OF MODERN ART:
The Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art (UIMA) preserves and promotes contemporary art as a shared expression of the Ukrainian and American experience. UIMA develops, utilizes and encourages artistic talent through exhibitions, concerts, readings, lectures and films to serve the cultural needs of our community and city, and thereby strengthen cultural understanding and diversity.
THE ILLINOIS BROADCASTERS ASSOCIATION:
The Illinois Broadcasters Association is the leading advocate for the broadcast industry in Illinois and is engaged in shaping public policy to create a positive legislative and regulatory environment for our members.
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