Ukrainian pastor helping residents during Russia invasion: ‘We’re fighting for our right to exist’

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Ukraine’s pleas for help are reaching Central Florida.

Food, water and supplies are dwindling there.


Anton Kaluzhny, a pastor with New Life Charity in Ukraine, said the past 21 days have been about more than just survival.

“We’re fighting for our right to exist,” Kaluzhny said.

New Life Charity is one of the largest evangelical churches helping to keep those still around the capital fed.

Photos: Ukraine continues to fight back against Russia

Kaluzhny said for him leaving wasn’t an option.

“Everyone who is in Kiev now understands they are part of resisting, big part of resisting,” he said. “We work 24/7 and we will resist until the end.”

Kaluzhny’s church has already received millions of tons of food, giving it out where they see fit.

He’s getting help from the Winter Park-based nonprofit, the Ginsburg Family Foundation. It recently gave $100,000 to the church last week to help them buy food for those in need.

READ: Biden announces more aid for Ukraine following Zelenskyy’s address to Congress

They’re also helping the European Jewish Congress in assisting refugees.

“It’s overwhelming to really think about the disparity in the community, so the Ginsburg family sat down and discussed what we can do,” said Marc McMurrin with the Ginsburg Family Foundation.

McMurrin said for him, helping is personal. His father was the conductor of the Kyiv Symphony Orchestra for 20 years, and has always tried to help with humanitarian work there.

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McMurrin believes this is just the beginning for them. He’s calling on others in Central Florida to give back when they can, too.

“We’re just one mechanism that’s helping a network with the humanitarian work on the ground,” McMurrin said.

For ways to help, contact the Ginsburg Family Foundation at marc@ginsburgfamilyfoundation.org.

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