Over the past week, the world has watched in shock as the crisis in Ukraine unfolds. The United Nations estimates there are now nearly 700,000 Ukrainians who have been displaced by the conflict, a number that is expected to continue rising. Here in the United States, Lutheran Services in America members are focused on supporting Ukrainians who seek refuge in America.
Lutheran Community Services Northwest in Tacoma, Washington, is reaching out to the local community to assist newly arrived families from Ukraine. The organization’s Refugee Response program is active in communicating to donors the items that asylum seekers will need, such as bedding, clothing, and even diapers.
The Russian invasion has weighed heavily on the LCS Northwest team. “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is on all of our minds. We have several team members who are formerly from Ukraine and Russia. Over the years, we have resettled thousands of Ukrainian refugees here in the Pacific Northwest – more than 2,100 over the last five years, in Tacoma, Portland and Vancouver,” wrote David Duea, LCS Northwest president and CEO, in a recent Facebook post. “Our call, locally, is to show compassion to all . . . It is also our mission to continue welcoming those who face repression in foreign lands. We expect to receive more Ukrainian refugees over the coming months and years.”
As with its support of Afghan refugees, LCS Northwest reminds us that one of the biggest challenges in assisting newly arrived families is sustaining public attention over the coming weeks and months. “This is a marathon, not a sprint,” their team recently wrote.
Lutheran Community Services Northwest is a member of Lutheran Services in America, a nationwide network of 300 health and human services organizations that lifts up one in 50 people in America each year.