Julie Creme has lived in the United States since the 1990s, but she said that a huge piece of her heart is still in Ukraine.
Creme, who lives in Putnam now, grew up in Kyiv and still has many friends and family there.
"It is devastating. Every time I write to my friends, and they respond, I just have a sigh of relief," said Creme. "There is some guilt for being here, but then I also have to remind myself that it's a blessing. That I can help."
Looking for ways to help support the people of Ukraine, Creme has been helping to organize fundraisers in northeastern Connecticut.
Help for Ukraine Drive in Woodstock
Creme is organizing a 'Help for Ukraine' drive at Woodstock Evangelical Covenant Church. They are working with a group based in New Jersey that will collect the goods and deliver them to Ukraine.
The drive will be held at 24 Child Hill Rd. on March 20 from 1 to 5 p.m. The priority items requested include: new underwear, new socks, new work boots, plaid/thermal blankets, yoga mats, working gloves, safety eyewear, first aid kits, tourniquets, turnstiles, wound dressings, bandage materials, surgical equipment, antiseptic wipes, hot hand warmers, infusion racks, toothpaste/toothbrushes, sanitary products, flashlights/lamps, walkie-talkies, fishing nets, knee/elbow guards and binoculars.
"We are collecting them so that they are ready. As soon as they are able to go, they can go. Food is very important and first aid items are most important," said Creme.
Art for Ukraine Fundraiser in Putnam
Silver Circle Gallery & Art Center in Putnam is hosting an art silent auction to benefit families who are feeling Ukraine. According to the gallery, 100% of the proceeds will be sent to a missionary group stationed in Czech and Ukraine.
More than 50 artists have donated work and over 200 pieces of art will be auctioned.
"I am humbled and overwhelmed with the generosity of the artists. Everybody wants to help in some small way," said gallery director Lisa Andrews.
The fundraiser is scheduled for March 19 from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Creme's mom, Luba Zwick, is one of the artists donating her work.
"It's just the beginning and we will do more," said Zwick.
Fundraiser for Ukraine in Plainfield
Broad & Brush in Plainfield is hosting a fundraiser for Ukraine on March 31 at 6 p.m. They are hosting a DIY workshop. 20% of proceeds will be donated to Samaritan's Purse to help Ukraine.