As war continues in their homeland, Ukrainians welcomed in Kansas City

Published: Jul. 17, 2022 at 11:32 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - About 5,000 miles from Ukraine, in the middle of the United States, Kansas City residents and newly arrived Ukrainians gathered in the KC Bier Co. Biergarten for a picnic and social gathering.

$1 of each in-house beer sold goes directly to the Stand With Ukraine KC organization to help displaced people, refugees, and anyone affiliated with Ukraine in our area.

The war is still going on and they want to show their Ukrainian family or friends, and newcomers, that they still stand with them.

President of Stand With Ukraine KC Volodymyr Polishchuk has been in America for around 25 years. He said Ukrainians knew the war was coming and was upset to see family and friends living through it as it continues into July. He said it doesn’t make the front page of the newspaper like it used to, or a top story on television news, but it’s still important to remember it is still happening.

“[Ukrainians] arrive in bits in pieces and they don’t understand Kansas City is a very welcome community. It’s a melting pot of different cultures and everybody has roots or been affected somehow by what’s going on in Ukraine and everybody wants to help,” he said.

The organization stands for Ukraine but took a seat Sunday afternoon to enjoy a picnic and social gathering.

Stand With Ukraine Program Director Andrew Meyer said, “We understand a lot of people here are against their will. Even if they do have friends and family here, they don’t necessarily want to be here. They’ve been displaced from their homes; they’ve been forced out of their homes. We’re just thrilled to have this opportunity to kind of enable them to relax and get to know each other a little bit more.”

The picnic featured Ukrainian dishes to give them a taste of home in their new community. The social gathering allowed for new arrivals to get a local KC brew.

KC Bier Co. Founder and Managing Partner Steve Holle said, “I think this is a cause near and dear to Americans. People are fighting for their freedom, and I think that’s something that rings true to all Americans and just something that people want to support and come out for.”

The organization will host a fundraising event on August 6 at Kauffman Stadium for Ukrainian Heritage Night. $5 of every ticket sold will go back to the organization.