Churches to hold Ukrainian refugee relief fundraiser

By Daniel Adam
Staff Writer

Members of three International Falls churches have come together to plan a dinner in support of Ukrainian refugees.

Holy Trinity Episcopal Church deacon Lee Grim along with members from Zion Lutheran and First Lutheran churches felt the community was saying this event was something that needed to happen.

“I believe that people in our community have a sense of helping others,” says Grim. “When people are in trouble, this community has been really good at helping.”

He says they’ve done Christmas dinners in the past, and this fundraiser has the same goal — helping others.

“The purpose of our work is to serve people who are in need,” he says. “That’s what inspires us to do this.”

Grim says they’re going to serve Ukrainian food — pierogis, sausage, cabbage rolls, kielbasa, borscht, pickles, and dessert — to further support refugees.

“This is about solidarity in our community,” says Grim. “It’s about showing solidarity to the almost five-million Ukrainian people who have been displaced from their country through the ravages of war.”

The event will have a freewill offering where people are encouraged to give as much as they can. Grim says donations will go to the UN Refugee Agency, and the UN can show donors how their contributions have helped.

The dinner is scheduled for Wednesday, May 25, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Elks Lodge on 3rd St. in International Falls.

The building has a limit of 180 people at a time, but Grim says people are welcome to come in, eat, and then leave to make room for more people. They expect 250-300 people to attend. Grim says they are not selling tickets, nor delivering food.

“It’s a sit-down thing because we want people to come together and share in the spirit of helping others,” he says. “It gives people an opportunity to come together to help others overcome their grief, fear, anger, demise, homelessness, hunger, and sickness. And that’s why it’s special.”

Grim says if people don’t wish to attend, they can still contribute by sending donations to the Ukrainian Refugee Relief Fund at the Backus Community Center at 900 5th St., International Falls.