Fundraiser to benefit Ukrainian kids
Last updated 10/10/2023 at 11:26am
A fundraiser organized by a group of locals will benefit Ukrainian children displaced by the Russian invasion of their country in February 2022. Funds raised will be distributed through the Sisters-based nonprofit World's Children, which has vetted contacts in Ukraine.
The event is set for Saturday, October 21, at the Sisters Community Church Fireside Room at 1300 McKenzie Hwy. There will be Marionberry cobbler and entertainment featuring showtunes by Dick & Randy.
There will be a 20-minute presentation on the plight of internally displaced children in Ukraine, including interviews from refugee camps.
The fundraiser came about fortuitously, according to World's Children Executive Director David Purviance. A group of people in a Zumba class at Sisters Park & Recreation District were talking about their desire to help children in Ukraine. Jean Purviance was in the class, and told them that World's Children was established in Ukraine. A fundraiser idea was born.
"We have a country liaison person in Ukraine," Purviance explained.
That contact can identify needs of refugee children and help ensure that resources get to the people who need them.
World's Children was founded in 1965. David and Jean Purviance took over its operation in 2009 and moved it from Corvallis to Sisters in 2017. They have worked extensively in India, Central America, and Asia. Other areas of the world have become hotspots with needs the organization can meet.
"Around May-June, we started shifting resources around to different countries," said Associate Executive Director Stephanie Welbourn.
According to Purviance and Welbourn, needs include solar battery chargers for phones and laptops for use in school, backpacks and hygiene kits. For younger children, "formula is a big one," said Purviance.
World's Children is also supporting foster families, who are undersupplied to take on care for children who have lost parents in the violence.
There are also less visible needs to meet.
"They all need therapy; the therapists are overworked," Welbourn said.
Some young children are traumatized to the point that they don't speak.
World's Children is funding private speech and psychological therapy, and turoting.
They are, Welbourn said, trying to cover the overarching needs that the government's small fund doesn't cover."
The fundraiser begins at 6 p.m., and there is a suggested donation of $25 per person.
For more information and to donate directly, visit https://www.worldschildren.org/projects/ukraine-children.