VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – There’s a Ukrainian school in Hampton Roads, and it’s offering a glimpse into the Ukrainian culture while it’s raising funds for their home country. This comes as Ukraine is at war with Russia.
According to the website for Tidewater Ukrainian School, they offer a Saturday school for children in Hampton Roads who are toddler-aged and older. It was established by Americans of Ukrainian heritage with the support of the Tidewater Ukrainian Cultural Association.
It strives to promote and preserve language and culture of Ukraine through offering classes in Ukrainian language, history, crafts, music and dancing. Its mission is to teach and guide a new generation of Americans of Ukrainian heritage through classes and special events.
The Tidewater Ukrainian School of Hampton Roads has announced what they’re calling an urgent fundraiser in order to support Ukraine in her darkest hour in the face of Russian aggression.
Tetiana Ordono, director for Tidewater Ukrainian School, described Ukraine.
"We are very peaceful. We would never harm someone because they have a different language or a different skin color," Ordono stated.
Ordono added that she's been hoping to make a trip to Ukraine for her father's 70th birthday in May. Also, she's hoping her 2-year-old son can join, as he hasn't met his Ukrainian grandparents yet due to COVID restrictions.
But for now, Ordono checks in with her parents, sister and nephew as often as possible to make sure they're OK.
Valentyna Sonmezler is a member of the Tidewater Ukrainian School and showed News 3 a video clip of apartment buildings in Ukraine being bombed just hours before.
"People getting killed - unfortunately, kids included. And when we see it, just our heart hurts so much," said Sonmezler. "We collect fundraisers to help them, to help civilians protect themselves. We just feel we have to save our country."
Sonmezler added that right now, they're hearing the most urgent need is funds to help buy protective equipment like helmets and bulletproof vests, as well as first aid kits.
Anyone who is interested in donating can do so through several means:
Checks payable to:
Tidewater Ukrainian School for Support Ukraine Fundraiser to the following address:
Truist Routing number
Accepted by the fundraiser coordinator, Tetiana Ordono, TUS Director, 808-726-7886.
Tax receipts can be provided upon request.