Ukrainian Refugee Assistance Project

Ukraine flag

HumanistsMN members are sponsoring a refugee family from Ukraine under the U.S. government’s Uniting for Ukraine (U4U) program. The sponsorship team set a goal to raise $15,000 to pay for airfare as well as housing, food, clothing and other living-related expenses over a two to three-month transition to self-sufficiency. Generous donors, members and friends of our humanist community, have stepped up and we’ve now exceeded that goal through direct donations and our Go-Fund-Me campaign.

Our sponsorship team made a commitment to a young couple with a 5-year old child living in Odessa. They have now arrived in the Twin Cities. and are getting acclimated. Temporary housing is being provided by their HumanistMN host family located in the north metro – see the September newsletter for further details.

U4U provides a legal pathway for Ukraine refugees to move to the United States to live and work for a period of two years. Beneficiary families must have a sponsor that agrees to provide them with financial support, find them temporary housing, and connect them with many other services during a two-to-three month period until they can become self-sufficient. 


Over the past year, the war in Ukraine has destroyed cities, separated families, and forced 25% of the population to leave their homes. 8 million Ukrainians have fled to neighboring countries, while 6 million are internally displaced. 

Many Ukraine refugees have lost everything: homes, possessions, livelihoods, and loved ones. When they resettle, they need assistance to get established with housing, employment, healthcare, education, etc. In many cases, as in this one, they may need to become proficient in English before they can be employed. Our HumanistsMN team will work with social service agencies to connect them to these essentials.

The HumanistsMN team is being advised by Alight, formerly the American Refugee Committee, as it undertakes this project. Alight has introduced the team to local social service agencies providing refugee services. The Ukrainian-American Community Center is deeply involved in supporting these services as well.

Donations will support the family. Any remaining funds will be used to support other displaced families in Ukraine, either through further sponsorships or contributions to partner with nonprofit organizations involved in Ukraine refugee resettlement. By helping a family fleeing the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, you can engage in some hands-on humanism and show some Minnesota hospitality!  Please donate what you can. 

To learn more about the project and how you can volunteer, contact LeeAnn Bera or Christine Retkwa at

Breaking News

  • Ukrainian Family Update: a Job and a New Apartment

    Ukrainian Family Update: a Job and a New Apartment

    There have been some significant changes in the lives of Anton, Olha, and Zlata. Coincidentally, on the day the November HumanistsMN newsletter was published with the article saying that Anton needed a job, he got one!  Is that fate – or him making his own luck by following through on contact leads? He was hired by…

  • Ukrainian Family Update: a Wedding, a Fully Owned Car, and English Classes

    Ukrainian Family Update: a Wedding, a Fully Owned Car, and English Classes

    The pictures with this article will give away the first piece of news about Anton, Olha, and Zlata: Olha and Anton were finally able to marry. They have long wanted to do so – but war delayed their plans. On one of the last warm days of October, one of our committee members, Ashley Allen,…

  • Ukrainian Family Update: a Car, Preschool, and Job Hunts

    By Christine Retkwa The Ukrainian Refugee Assistance Project, organized by HMN members, is sponsoring a Ukrainian family that arrived in Minnesota in August. Here is the latest update. First, some great news! Thanks to generous donors, Anton, Olha, and Zlata now have enough money to buy a car. They are trying to be patient ……


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