Thursday, May 19, 2022

New York Jets pledge $1 million to Ukraine amid ongoing Russian invasion: ‘People are suffering’

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Vincent Carchietta, Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

As Ukraine’s president demands the United Nations offer further support amid Russia’s invasion of the country, one NFL team has pledged its own support. The Jets announced Tuesday a $1 million donation to aid the people of Ukraine amid Russia’s ongoing attack, committing $100,000 each to various organizations over the course of the next year.

“These donations will positively impact Ukrainian refugees and their families with essential supplies,” Jets co-owner and chairman Woody Johnson said in a team statement. “The need for resources is continuously growing. Our thoughts continue to be with the innocent lives who have been affected and all those who are suffering.”

The first organization to benefit from the Jets’ $1 million donation is the Plast Ukrainian Scouting Organization – USA. The nonprofit was founded in 1911 and boasts 2,000 volunteers to address “many of Ukraine’s urgent needs, through fundraising, assembling pocket first-aid kits, sourcing medical equipment and supplies” and coordinating other aid to Ukrainian citizens.

The Jets’ financial commitment stems from personal ties to the country, which gained its independence from Russia in 1991 but has been countering a Russian invasion since February. Johnson’s wife, Suzanne, comes from an immigrant family and was raised in a Ukrainian neighborhood in New York; her mother, Marie, was born to Ukrainian immigrant parents; and father, Stefan, is originally from outside of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine.

“Today in Ukraine, many people are suffering,” Suzanne Johnson said in the Jets’ statement. “Because of this, it is important to us to provide assistance to organizations making a true difference on the ground. My family and I are heartbroken by the devastation and loss and are praying for the individuals who have become refugees and those still living and working in Ukraine.”

The Jets have also offered staff the opportunity to donate medical supplies to assist in relief efforts, pledging to match any donated supplies to assist victims and their families.

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