How Can Pittsburghers Help Ukraine Amid the Ongoing War?
As the war in Ukraine nears its second month and Russia continues to escalate its invasion, Pittsburgh officials unveiled another way residents can help those affected.
A collection drive for personal hygiene items to benefit those impacted by the crisis in Ukraine will kick off Monday, April 18.
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald and Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey announced the drive in partnership with the Brother’s Brother Foundation, based on the North Side. The collection will continue through Friday, April 29. Personal hygiene kits then will be distributed to refugees and others who have been forced to go without essential items like shampoo and tampons.
“One thing about Western Pennsylvanians and Pittsburghers, we come together and help folks in need,” Fitzgerald said in a statement. “There is a huge number of people of Ukrainian heritage here in Western Pennsylvania and we have been asked over and over what can be done to help those in Ukraine. Coordinating this drive for hygiene kits is just one small way to have a big impact and we are grateful to everyone who has committed to participating.”
Pittsburgh residents will be able to drop off full hygiene kits or items that can be assembled into the kits at one of the many sites in the area. Because the kits will be shipped overseas, all liquid items should be sealed with packing tape and no aerosols or powders will be allowed. Money and notes are also not permitted to be put in the kits. Items cannot be any larger than travel size, or 3.4 ounces.
Each hygiene kit should include new deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, hand sanitizer, toothpaste, a toothbrush, chapstick, flushable wipes, tissues, tampons and sanitary pads. Folks can also donate single items to be assembled into the kits, but full kits are preferred.
“These hygiene kits are essential supplies for everyone who has had to flee their homes because of this unjust war. By coming together as one community, we are able to provide these kits to all who need them, and Pittsburgh will continue to stand with you during this time of crisis,” Gainey said in a statement.
Organizations can also register to be a donation site by filling out a short form.
Local leaders also stressed the importance of Ukrainian immigrants to the Pittsburgh region — and its rich history.
“The earliest immigrants from the Ukraine settled in this region to work in our mills, providing labor to our large industries and working to provide for their families. Generation after generation, they have worked to building this region and are still a proud part of our workforce today,” said Darrin Kelly, president of the Allegheny-Fayette Central Labor Council, in a statement. “It is only fitting that our many unions are part of this effort. We are proud to stand by and work with County Executive Fitzgerald and Mayor Gainey to benefit Ukraine.”
If you’re looking for other ways to help, too, many Ukrainian churches across the region have their own donation drives and are accepting a variety of items and monetary donations. For more information, you can visit their websites directly or contact one of the following Ukrainian parishes:
Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church
730 Washington Ave., Carnegie
St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church
3455 California Ave., North Side
St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church
109 S. Seventh St., South Side
St. Mary the Dormition of the Birthgiver of God Ukrainian Orthodox Church
116 Ella St., McKees Rocks
St. Peter & St. Paul. Ukrainian Orthodox Church
220 Mansfield Blvd., Carnegie
St. Vladimir Parish – Ukrainian Orthodox Church
73 S. 18th St., South Side