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Marking Ukrainian Independence Day


August 24, 2022| As Ukraine observes its independence from the U.S.S.R., August 24 also marks exactly six months since the Russian invasion.

One of the most popular holidays in Ukraine, Independence Day is celebrated as a national holiday. That means fanfare like parades, fireworks, military recognition and a presidential speech — similar to an American 4th of July. Today, the Ukrainian people find themselves at war, fighting to keep their independence yet again.

As the world notes this juxtaposition of events, the International Institute of Minnesota welcomes Ukrainians fleeing the war and introduces our Refugee Family Fund. Donations to this fund provides direct financial support and extended services for evacuees from Ukraine, as well as for Afghans and other newly arriving communities.

Cori Ertz, Development Director at the Institute, helped launch the fund. Ukraine’s current conflict hits close, as she remembers her family’s years living there.

“When our family moved to Ukraine, my oldest child started kindergarten in Kyiv. New friends helped us navigate all the rewards and challenges of living in a new country,” Ertz said. “Now my colleagues at the International Institute of Minnesota are similarly helping Ukrainian arrivals, while husbands, brothers and other family remain in Ukraine.”

Contributions to the Refugee Family Fund will:

  • Help pay a rent deposit and first month’s rent when no federal resettlement grant is available. This is particularly helpful for Ukrainians, who are ineligible for federally funded resettlement grants.
  • To fund staff time so we can assess every family or individual for county or state benefits that may be available to help them or offer them extended support.

The Institute is a 501c3 charitable nonprofit organization. Learn about our support for Ukrainians new to Minnesota and other ways you can help.