12 Ways You Can Support Chicago’s Sizable Ukrainian Community Right Now
Doing right by a community in shock
More than 54,000 Ukrainian-Americans call Chicago home, making the country’s influence felt all across the city. And, with so many Ukrainian-owned stores, restaurants, museums and more, Chicagoans are finding ways to support Ukrainians both at home and abroad during the ongoing crisis.
“The Ukrainian community in Chicago is one of the largest in the country,” said Yuriy Onyskiv, a Ukrainian-born Chicagoan who came to the US with his family as a child. “This gives us a platform and an opportunity to show what we can do and how we can support … Even as I moved around in my personal life, I maintain that the Chicago [Ukrainian] community is the most closely knit.”
Yuriy added that, for those who want to show their support for Ukraine, it can be as easy as spending a few hours exploring the Ukrainian Village neighborhood.
“It’s really easy to go to Ukrainian Village and pop into any of the myriad shops run by Ukrainians,” he says. “Anything in the Ukrainian Village is going to need your support and also really appreciate it. I consider it a luxury to have a neighborhood that is so large that you can walk around and explore different businesses, and it’s well worth everyone’s time to do that.”
Here are a few ways to support Ukrainians both here and abroad.
Ann’s Bakery and Deli: A bakery and grocery store, Ann’s is the perfect stop for Ukrainian pastries as well as tough-to-find Ukrainian groceries.
Shokolad: Shokolad serves up authentic Ukrainian and classic American breakfast dishes, and is especially known for its incredible cakes. (Which Yuriy notes is some of the best in the city.)
Tryzub Ukrainian Kitchen: Tryzub offers traditional Ukrainian dishes and handcrafted infused vodka specialities with a twist — all prices on the menu reflect important years in Ukraine’s history.
Old Liv: Looking to support a Ukrainian restaurant, but can’t tell your borscht from your varenyky? Head to Old Liv, a Ukrainian Village standby known for its friendly staff and large buffet, where you can sample all of Ukraine’s specialities.
Visit and Shop
Ukrainian National Museum: The Ukrainian National Museum combines folk art, history, and fine art to celebrate Ukraine and teach visitors more about the country’s robust history. The museum also hosts a myriad of events to learn more about Ukrainian culture, like the upcoming Pysanka (Ukrainian Easter egg) workshop. Learn more here.
Sts. Volodymyr and Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church: Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, Sts. Volodymyr and Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church also provides a wide range of resources to support the people of Ukraine. Follow their Facebook page for ongoing updates.
Delta M Gift Shop: The oldest and largest Ukrainian gift store in the US, Delta M carries everything from traditional folk clothing to fine art — and whatever else you can think of.
Ukrainian Museum of Modern Art: Founded in 1971 to fill a void in American’s understanding of contemporary Ukrainian artists, UIMA offers a large gallery space and regular events. The current exhibit, Naturally by Judith Roston Freilich and Lilach Schrag, is up until April 3.
Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral: Designed by Chicago icon Louis Sullivan (a guy you’ve definitely heard of every time you take out-of-towners on the Architecture Boat Tour), Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral offers tours to visitors (with the next tour on March 12 at 1 and 2 pm).
Hromovytsia Ukrainian Dance Ensemble Supply Collection: Hromovytsia is collecting much-needed supplies for the people of Ukraine; drop off what you can spare at the Ukrainian Cultural Center. For updates on what’s needed, drop-off hours, and other ways the dance ensemble is giving back, check the group’s Facebook page.
Hamantashen for Ukraine: Bakeries around the world are coming together to make and sell Hamantashen — the traditional cookie of Purim — to raise funds for Ukrainians. Participating Chicago locations include Masa Madre, Big Fat Cookie, Bennison’s Bakery, and Zeitlin’s Deli.
Ukrainian Congress Committee of America – Illinois Division: UCCA is dedicated to supporting cultural, educational, and humanitarian activities that support Ukraine. The organization’s website is a great resource about upcoming protests, rallies and other events.
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