To honor the struggle and suffering of the Ukrainian people since Russia’s violent invasion, the Sacred Space in the Ludwick Center provided a peaceful space for students, faculty and community members to write a prayer and light a candle on Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
University of La Verne Chaplain Zandra Wagoner recognized the need for community support during this time and organized this event with other ways for the University community to show their support for Ukrainians.
“Ukraine has been on my mind,” Wagoner said. “I knew that it was important that we do something so that we can acknowledge the tragedy that’s happening, and provide a space for people to express something in relation to that.”
Wagoner offered a list of interfaith prayers for peace and gave insight into ways we can offer support to Ukraine – spiritually, financially through donations, through peaceful protest and more.
Many people in the United States are not sure how to offer help during this time to a country that’s so far from ours, Wagoner said.
“I think the most practical thing that we can do right now is to get connected with some of the trusted organizations that are providing humanitarian aid,” Wagoner said.
Wagoner said marginalized groups in Ukraine – like the LGBTQ+ community, women and children – are displaced more than ever and need extra support.
The list of resources she had on hand at the Sacred Space addressed how to help from various perspectives.
“It’s everything from the large organizations like Red Cross, but also organizations that are thinking, ‘All right, we know there’s children who are affected, we have our eye on that. We know that LGBTQ community has a particular kind of struggle,’” she said. “These organizations are gonna have their eye on various populations that need support right now.”
To support Ukrainian refugees, Wagoner suggested donating to organizations such as the Ukrainian Red Cross, the United Nations Refugee Agency, Save the Children Vostok-SOS, Malteser International and B Strong.
To help with essential medical supplies for Ukrainians that are still on ground, different ways to donate can be found at razomforukraine.org/donate. To help children specifically with water, food, education and protection, the United Nations Children’s Fund and Voices for Children are accepting donations.
Here, physically in the U.S., we can show solidarity by joining a peaceful protest. Visit standwithukraine.live/peace-protests to find a local demonstration.
Solidarity can also be shown by supporting local Ukrainian businesses. A simple Google search can help connect you with Ukrainian businesses near you.
Wagoner said social media is also good for staying informed and sharing resources, however, be cautious of misinformation on the Internet.
“It’s not changing the circumstances but yet, there is something about placing our intention in a certain way of bringing our hearts with us to light a candle that builds something in us. That, for me, is building towards peace and justice,” Wagoner said.
On Thursday from noon to 1 p.m., the Sacred Space held a prayer circle where people can share their thoughts, feelings, concerns, and commitments around this situation.
Anabel Martinez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anabel Martinez is a senior digital media major with a concentration in film and television, and a journalism minor. She serves as the managing editor overseeing all of the Campus Times sections and was previously editor-in-chief in Spring 2022.