The brutalities of Russia’s war in Ukraine have been horrifying to watch. Like many Ukrainian families living in the United States, Nicole Malantchouk, Associate Director of Outreach and Professional Advancement in the School of Business, felt motivated to do something. Since March, she and her husband Roman Malantchouk, ’10, BE, ’11 ME, have raised more than $100,000 to provide assistance to families, daycares, and emergency shelters in Ukraine.
Within 10 hours, $25,000 was raised for Ukrainian aid.
At the Stevens Rally for Ukraine on April 13, Nicole spoke in front of the crowd and shared how her family has been directly impacted by the war. “The past six weeks have been an emotional roller coaster for our family. But it’s nothing compared to what the Ukrainian civilians are experiencing."
The Malantchouks knew they wanted to work with families in Ukraine to deliver first-aid and clothing. In March 2022, they launched their project Friends of Chervonohrad, in reference to a town located 20 miles east of the Polish border. Within the first 10 hours, $25,000 was raised through their new website. Using this sudden influx of donations, Nicole and her family gathered supply lists from families in Chervonohrad, and they started shuttling medical supplies and first-aid kits through a family-and-friends network.
Most of the money has already been spent on food, money, and medicine in Chervonohrad and the surrounding areas, Nicole said. “A 17-year-old boy who escaped to Lviv to find shelter and a job was given financial aid to kickstart his new life, alone,” she said. “Three daycares in Chervonohrad, housing 150 displaced persons, are receiving continuous supplies of food."
Nicole added, "We were actively involved in setting up four shelters in Chervonohrad for eastern Ukrainians, and so far, 200 refugees have been fed using money from the donations.”
Since Russia's war in Ukraine began, the Malantchouks have been staying in touch with their family still in Ukraine. In an article on Inc.com, Roman said, “I've been FaceTiming [my family] every day since the invasion started. They're scared. They sleep in their clothing in case they hear sirens in the middle of the night and they need to run and hide in bomb shelters.”
“Doing something helps me avoid feeling hopeless,” Roman said. “I'm upset and I accept the sadness, but I have to keep acting. This is not a weekend project for us. This is going to be a lifelong mission.”
The Malantchouks' next project is focused on children and educational needs in Chervonohrad. "Our latest initiative involves tablets for children in the shelters so they can resume school through remote learning," Nicole said. They will also be launching a shoe donation drive on the Stevens campus during April.
Donations to Chervonohrad can be sent through GiveButter.