Local Editorials

Our View: American support for Ukraine and how you can help

Many of the parishioners at St. Nicholas of Myra Russian Orthodox Church in McHenry are from Ukraine. The church held a special prayer for peace during services on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022.

Ukraine is 5,000 miles from northern Illinois, but from the response across all of our communities to Russia’s unprovoked invasion of the county last week, it might as well be next door.

Churches have hosted vigils, lawmakers have called for action and readers have asked us how they can help in any way. These are all natural and expected responses in the face of the largest military attack on European soil since World War II.

President Joe Biden said during his State of the Union address on Tuesday that the United States will not raise arms against Russia, and there was nearly an audible sign of relief nationwide. Instead, his strategy, in concert with our allies and international businesses, is to wrestle Russia’s economy into submission. That could take months, if not years. Biden asked for our patience, which, in recent times, most Americans seemingly don’t have in great supply. If the cheers of support from both sides of the aisle in the U.S. Senate chambers during the State of the Union are any indication, however, there is a bipartisan foundation for America and its allies to work together to bolster Ukraine in a peaceful way. We hope that continues and remains sustainable.

As we mentioned, we have heard from readers asking how they can help people in Ukraine. The Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Alliance has suggestions of humanitarian agencies that are either raising funds for assistance efforts or preparing for the needs of Ukraine’s displaced population. These agencies are BBB Accredited, meaning they meet the 20 BBB Standards for Charity Accountability:

Catholic Relief Services, Direct Relief, GlobalGiving, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Operation USA, Save the Children and United States Association for UNHCR. (Links to make donations to these agencies, or to learn more about their mission, can be found on the digital version of this editorial at shawlocal.com.)

We also should be grateful to the American-based and global journalists in Ukraine who are risking their lives to report the news from the front lines. Their work is keeping us informed and providing credible and eyewitness accounts. The stories they are sharing are terrifying and, in some instances, inspiring.

We hope our leaders unite in a bipartisan pledge to Ukraine and the country’s rebirth in the wake of Russia’s invasion. We also support you in however you wish to become involved in humanitarian efforts.