With the conflict in Ukraine intensifying daily it seems, new businesses around the country are stepping up to help in their own unique ways. On Saturday night, Losers Bar and Grill, a honky tonk country bar in Nashville beloved by locals rather than just tourists, collected money for the war effort in Ukraine.
Dubbed the “We Stand with Ukraine” benefit, the Losers bar passed the hat for two organizations involved with aid: Care, and World Central Kitchen, News Channel 5 reports. Both orgs work directly with Ukrainians to provide relief in the form of basic human necessities, like shelter and food.
Yuliia Romanchuk helped organize the event, which included t-shirt sales and an auction. Romanchuk said her family is still in their war-torn home country, and she wants to help them in any way she can. “I feel so bad that I’m not with my family right now and I cannot support them,” she said.
Romanchuk also said the auction raised close to $10,000 thanks to a multitude of high-value items donated by the local community. She said she loves knowing that people care about the crisis unfolding in her family’s country.
“Just this morning I had so many people who were like, ‘Oh, I have more people who are willing to donate. Here’s the contact, Here’s the items they want to donate.’ That hit my heart really warm because I see that people care,” she said.
Romanchuk and other organizers said people can simply donate cash by texting StandWithUKR to 707070.
Losers Bar and Grill collected money for Ukraine, but some Americans simply want to fight
As many wrestle with ways to help ease suffering in Ukraine, one man just took up arms with the resistance. Paul, a former paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division, moved to Ukraine about a year ago, he said. A multiple-deployment veteran in the Iraq War, Paul said he was inspired by the attitudes he grew up around in his home state of Texas.
“I thought it was my moral obligation to help the people of Ukraine in this crisis,” Paul said. “They are fiercely independent. We have cowboys. They have Cossacks.”
The U.S. State Department says that it is legal for U.S. citizens to join an international legion as long as they are not acting as mercenaries. Ukraine will not pay any foreign volunteer for their services, Paul clarified. “We are not paid,” he said. “We are not mercenaries. (And) we are not in this for any kind of personal gain.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy recently appealed to “every friend of Ukraine” to “join the defense of Ukraine, Europe, and the world.”
Zelenskyy said Ukraine has already received “thousands of requests” from people who wish to join the defense force.