Polish-Ukrainian ties deepen in Chicago and Europe as war rages on in 6th week

The Polish National Alliance and Polish American Congress raised more than $230,000 since the war in Ukraine started
FOREST GLEN, Ill. (WLS) -- As the war in Ukraine enters its sixth week, the world has seen total brutality on display. Millions of women and children have been forced to flee for their lives from bombs and attacks to neighboring countries, like Poland, that have welcomed them with open arms.

"The Polish community has stood with us every step of the way," said Dan Diaczun, president of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, Illinois Division.

Diaczun said that unity is reflected in Chicago, home to vibrant Polish and Ukrainian communities that are stepping up to the challenge of the moment as brothers and sisters in humanity.

"Their generosity, their kindness, their support has just been truly overwhelming," Diaczun said.

The Polish National Alliance and Polish American Congress raised more than $230,000 since the war in Ukraine started, half was donated Thursday to the Ukrainian Congress Committee in Chicago and the other half to the Polish Red Cross.

"If you're human, if you've got any sense of responsibility, you would help them. And this is, like, a responsibility of man helping fellow man more than anything else," said Frank Spula, president of the Polish National Alliance & Polish American Congress.

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It was an effort, Spula said, started with one of ABC7's questions the day Russia invaded Ukraine.

"It was your question that spirited me - we've got to do this on a national scale," Spula said. "This comes back to what Mark Rivera and I were talking about. That's what did it. So I give kudos to you sir."

For weeks since the war started, the Polish Daily newspaper kept the fundraiser front page of their newspaper every single day, airing it on their radio stations as well. Two communities -- two countries -- coming together in a time of crisis like never before.

Now, these communities with deep ties have an even deeper bond as they work together against tyranny.

"If you're a human being, you're gonna help your fellow man," Spula said.

"Our debt of gratitude is just immeasurable," Diaczun added.
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