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Santa Barbara residents come together to support the local Ukrainian community

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (KEYT) -- A rally took place in downtown Santa Barbara Saturday afternoon to show support to Ukraine.

The local Ukrainian community took to the streets to demand peace in the region.

On the corner of State and Anapumu, the colors yellow and blue conveyed one simple message: "We stand with Ukraine"

Most of the rally goers still have family and friends in the region, and say they are afraid for their lives.

Gregory Lyutko, the rally organizer, said "we are a small group of Ukrainians, but we want to show our solidarity."

The White House has imposed tighter sanctions against Russia, however it does not seem to be stopping President Putin on his attack against Ukraine.

There are several organizations raising money for the cause, however City County Supervisor Das Williams urges people to be wary of scammers.

Here is a list of reliable organizations provided by the County Supervisor to support people in Ukraine:

National Bank of Ukraine opened a Special Account to raise funds for Ukraine’s Armed Force. This is the most direct way to support the Ukrainian Army’s efforts to defend Ukraine. Click here to visit the National Bank of Ukraine website.

Come Back Alive Foundation supports the Ukrainian military. They supply and repair equipment, train the military and officers, and curb the flow of propaganda and disinformation. Click here to visit the Come Back Alive Foundation website.

Voices of Children addresses the psychological effect of armed conflict on children. Founded in 2015 in response to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Voices of Children provides art therapy, mobile psychologists, and individualized support to traumatized children. Individuals can donate through bank transfer, credit/debit card, or Apple Pay or click here.

The International Rescue Committee has a long history of providing resources to refugees fleeing countries facing humanitarian crisis. Its leaders have responded to the situation in Ukraine by meeting with organizations in Poland and Ukraine to provide whatever assistance is needed. You can make a donation via its website. While the organization will accept donations of any size, it states on the site that a monthly donation of $108 will provide eight families with temporary shelter.

CARE is an international humanitarian organization that has set up an emergency Ukrainian Crisis Fund with the goal of providing immediate support for 4 million people. Donations will go toward providing Ukrainians with water, food, supplies, hygiene kits, immediate support and aid, and cash. CARE notes that its prioritizing supporting women, girls, families, and elderly. CARE makes it easy to donate via its website using PayPal or a credit card.

International Medical Corps is a nonprofit focused on providing health-care services, psychosocial support, and care to citizens of countries dealing with disaster, disease, and conflict. It's currently accepting monetary gifts that provide Ukrainians with better access to medical and mental health resources. You can make a donation via the website using a credit/debit card, bank transfer, or PayPal.

Another rally is set to happen Monday, Feb. 28, at noon in front of the Santa Barbara Courthouse.

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Janete Weinstein

Janete Weinstein is a multimedia journalist at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Janete, click here.

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