Marshalltown is uniting to resettle Ukrainian refugees

If it “takes a village to raise a child,” as someone has said, then “it takes a community to welcome and care for Ukrainian families who have left a war torn country and are trying to start new lives in safety and peace.” Marshalltown has been offered just such an opportunity!

Five months ago a small group of Marshalltown folks who were deeply concerned about Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine and the humanitarian crisis it was causing gathered together and decided that they had do something to reach out and help rather than just watch in horror with the rest of the world as the unbelievable unfolded before all our eyes.

The result from that small, spontaneous meeting five months ago, is “Marshalltown United for Ukraine,” a local organization that since that simple beginning has welcomed four Ukrainian families into our community and is undertaking the complicated process of resettling those families in the United States.

A committee within the organization, from St Francis Catholic church, was the first to secure housing and to connect with a Ukrainian family. A fund was established to responsibly collect funds for the expenses to bring the families to Marshalltown and to support them financially. Since then, many community members, organizations, and other churches, most notably Hope United Methodist Church, have taken an active role in helping in this urgent need rather than turning a blind eye to the terrible humanitarian cost of war as so many countries, our own included, did to the Jews after World War II.

“Marshalltown United for Ukraine” is welcoming all citizens who would like to be a part of this important local rescue effort. As we continue this journey, the most urgent need is to find individuals or a team of individuals willing to “sponsor a family.” Sponsors and support teams take the lead in securing housing, identifying the Ukrainian family, and helping families navigate the transition to Marshalltown. These sponsor individuals or teams will receive the extended support and guidance of “Marshalltown United for Ukraine,” as has been the case since the very first family arrived.

Those that have been part of these first families will say “Even with the support of others, the commitment is extensive, and the personal involvement is very time consuming. The rewards, on the other hand, are everlasting. It is a gift beyond measure to connect with a family and help them rebuild their lives in the safety of this community.

It’s a blessing for the families, to be sure, but also for the sponsors and the support team whose lives are touched by the new lifelong connections and friendships made. Please consider becoming a sponsor or a team. Anyone who is interested and wants to learn more can contact Kathy Duncan via email at kathyduncan1958@gmail.com.

Those interested can also give financially, volunteer for the many tasks that need doing, or donate items that are needed to provide families with everything necessary to start life again. This means everything from housing, a car, and household items. These are people who have lost everything. We have so much – they come bringing nothing but the few personal items they can pack in suitcases. And of the greatest importance, we can open our hearts and pray for these families as they start their lives again. Go to https://forms.gle/NWBMnArs3v9bghxZ9 and provide your email address and identify in which areas you would like to help. You will also be added to the email list providing updates and invitations to future meetings.

Financial donations can be made to “The Community Foundation — United for Ukraine” and mailed to Community Foundation, Attn: Julie Hitchins, 709 South Center Street, Suite 131, Marshalltown, IA 50158 or donate online at www.desmoinesfoundation.org/marshalltownunitedforukrainefund with the assurance that the funds will be safely and accurately recorded and handled. All money collected goes directly to caring for these families’ needs until they become self-sufficient.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper? *

Starting at $4.38/week.

Subscribe Today