Celebrities Spreading Solidarity and Raising Funds for Ukraine
[Mar 21, 2022: Joshua Shavit, The Brighter Side of News]
Blake Lively And Ryan Reynolds have contributed $1 million to UNHCR, the United Nations’ Refugee Agency. (CREDIT: @vancityreynolds / Instagram and Kutsenko Volodymyr/Shutterstock)
While the world watches the devastating destruction of Ukraine and people from villages, towns, and cities worldwide are organizing collection points for donations, let’s have a look at the celebrities that have put their money where their mouths are, making financial contributions and launching fundraisers using their public platforms.
Many of these celebrities have Ukrainian backgrounds.
Mila Kunis And Ashton Kutcher created a GoFundMe campaign on the 4th of March with a $3 million donation. Their aim is to raise $30 million and in partnership with Airbnb and Flexport freight company, provide housing and ship in supplies. So far, they have reached half of their goal, $15 million. Mila Kunis was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine.
Bethenny Frankel, The Real Housewives of New York City star’s nonprofit organisation BStrong has raised $6 million in cash donations so far, according to latest updates. This is in addition to the $10 million the organization has already pledged to support Ukraine.
BStrong began helping Ukrainian refugees relocate to Poland in February.
Frankel told The Cut: “BStrong and our partner Global Empowerment Mission are in Poland on the border, where people are crossing. We have 100,000 crisis kits coming in, which are survival kits for refugees. But in addition to the survival kits, we need to help people to rebuild, so money people donate will go towards cash cards, which help people rebuild their lives.”
Nadya Tolokonnikova, from the feminist post punk rock and performance art group, Pussy Riot, has helped raised more than $6.7 million to support Ukraine’s military. The fundraiser organised by UkraineDAO attracted thousands of users who bid for a share of a digital NFT of the Ukrainian flag. The group said profits would be donated to “Come Back Alive”, a campaign aiding Ukraine’s defences.
Tolokonnikova is a renowned political activist and one of Putin’s most outspoken opponents.
Lee Young-Ae, the South Korean actress, made a ₩100 million (about $80,000) donation to Ukraine in a move that saw her personally thanked by the Ukrainian ambassador-designate in Seoul, Dmytro Ponomarenko.
Sharing a photo of the cheque to Twitter, he wrote: “We are very excited and touched by the letter and the great financial contribution of the famous Korean actress Lee Young-Ae in support of Ukraine and the demand to end the war as soon as possible! The donations will be transferred to the needs of victims of 🇷🇺 aggression.”
The Weeknd, singer-songwriter and Global Citizen artist Abel Tesfaye, known as The Weeknd, has committed to donate up to $1 million to the World Food Programme in support of Ukrainian refugees and people in other humanitarian crises around the world.
In addition to an initial $500,000 direct donation, the artist will match this with up to $500,000 from his upcoming tour.
Blake Lively And Ryan Reynolds have contributed $1 million to UNHCR, the United Nations’ Refugee Agency, matching public donations. Their challenge to match public donations of $1 million was met in 48 hours.
Peta Murgatroyd, the Dancing With the Stars professional, has set up Peta’s Wardrobe, where fans can purchase her clothes, shoes and handbags. All the proceeds will go directly to Ukraine. The ballroom professional revealed that she’s raised upward of $5,000. “All of this money will be going to the Ukrainian families who are now refugees,” she told her followers. “We can buy so many hotel rooms for these families. I think it’s nearly $5,000, that’s going to go a long way. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Peta’s husband, Maksim Chmerkovskiy, was working in Ukraine when Russia first invaded. He and his brother, Val Chmerkovskiy, are both Ukrainian and are both actively trying to help their people. Maksim was able to return to the United States in early March.
Val had this to say: “My parents fled this country for this exact reason,” Val, 35, wrote via Instagram Story in February. “Not because it wasn’t good to them, but because their kids would see war eventually. It’s a cruel irony that 28 years later my brother is in a bomb shelter in [Kyiv]. If they hadn’t left I would be on the front lines defending my home right now.”
JK Rowling, the Harry Potter author, has pledged to match donations up to £1 million ($1.3 million) for charity Lumos’s emergency appeal. Lumos is a UK-based charity providing assistance to children in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.
Kit Harrington, Adrian Lester, Simon Pegg, Hugh Bonneville and David Tennant have participated in videos and radio adverts to help raise $120 million for the Disasters Emergency Committee, a coalition of 15 leading humanitarian nonprofts in the UK, which is assisting the Ukrainian relief effort. Here is Kit Harrington’s appeal on YouTube.
A Buckingham Palace source confirmed to ET that the Queen has made a generous donation privately to the Disasters Emergency Committee Ukraine Humanitarian appeal.
Oksana Baiul, Ukrainian Olympian, helped organize a peace rally in Las Vegas before calling for the US to help get Ukrainian athletes out of the war zone and to safety. The 44-year-old former ice skater told Newsmax on March 6, “We’ve got to save Ukrainian figure skaters from being killed by the Russians and get them over here.”
For more celebrity good news stories check out our Celebrities section at The Brighter Side of News.
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