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Minnesotans organize donation drives, fundraisers to help Ukraine

East Side Neighborhood Services partnered with St. Katherine Ukrainian Orthodox Church to collect items that will be sent to Ukraine and Poland.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota — On Thursday morning, Bethany Schafer stood outside East Side Neighborhood Services in northeast Minneapolis waving a Ukrainian flag while holding a sign pointing cars toward a humanitarian aid drive. 

"There have been a lot of people coming by like, 'Where do we go? How do we donate?' They're just so happy to be able to help," Schafer said. 

East Side Neighborhood Services partnered with St. Katherine Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Arden Hills to collect items that will be sent to Ukraine and Poland. The one-day collection took place at East Side Neighborhood Services. 

"The need has shifted really drastically over this last week to now mainly medical supplies, bandages, batteries; they're looking for unlocked cell phones, walkie-talkies, anything that would help the folks that are actually in Ukraine and fighting," said Mary Ostapenko Anstett with East Side Neighborhood Services. 

Minneapolis Rotary Club #9 donated $10,000 to the cause. 

While the event has ended, people can still drop off donations to St. Katherine Ukrainian Orthodox Church on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

#standwithukriane #standwithukrainemn

Posted by St. Katherine Ukrainian Orthodox Church on Monday, March 7, 2022

Meanwhile, pallets full of medical supplies left the nonprofit MATTER's warehouse on Thursday. 

Allina Health donated 80,000 needles to help with the humanitarian efforts in Ukraine on top of their monthly medical supply donations. 

"We had a lot of employees reaching out to us to see how they could help," said Sarah Charai, director of supply chain operations at Allina Health. 

MATTER's partner, Chalice of Mercy, picked up the supplies that are headed for Ukraine. 

"It's really easy to feel hopeless in a situation like this so it's nice to be able to help where we can," said Katie Johnson with MATTER. 

MATTER has set up a a medical relief fund for Ukraine, here

As Ukrainians flee their homes, a Twin Cities-based nonprofit is helping get them to safety. Shepherd's Foundation is focusing its efforts on evacuating and caring for Ukrainian refugees. 

RELATED: Twin Cities-based nonprofit 'Shepherd's Foundation' helps Ukrainians fleeing their homes

Since KARE 11's original story aired, they have been getting $10,000-$15,000 in donations per day to help their Camp Maximum outside of Kyiv. 

Board chair Dr. Marshall Wade said they have already bought several more vans. Each van cost $10,000-$15,000. Every day, drivers go into combat zones to pick up refugees and drop off supplies. 

Their Camp Maximum is housing up to 250 people per night in a camp that sleeps 120. According to Camp Maximum's CEO, their host party in Germany is no longer accepting people with disabilities. They are now looking for organizations in other countries that can accept refugees with disabilities. 

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