Granite United Way kicks off its New Hampshire Ukraine Relief Fund Sunday at Common Man restaurant locations around the state.

The campaign is the result of a collaboration of several business leaders with ties to Ukraine, who turned to the United Way to use its experience to pull it together, according to Patrick Tufts, President and CEO of Granite United Way.

"I got connected to this drive by Mayor Joyce Craig in Manchester, who had been working with Sean O’Kane, David Tille and Fred Kocher, all leading businessmen in New Hampshire who had political relationships with folks in Ukraine," Tufts told Seacoast Current. "Mayor Craig knows that United Way has run these large relief efforts in the past and connected me with these three gentlemen, and we were able to pull this together."

O’Kane is the former commissioner of the Department of Resources and Economic Development, who led the first-ever US trade mission to Ukraine in 2005. Tille is the former New England Regional Administrator of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, while Kocher hosts NH's Business on WMUR.

Candlelight vigil in support of Ukraine in Dover 3/4/22
Candlelight vigil in support of Ukraine in Dover 3/4/22 (Jolana Miller, Townsquare Media)
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How to donate

Using their relationships, Tufts connected with the Lech Walesa Institute to help generate a list of the most needed items.

"We got the list directly from the institute in Poland and directly from a number of prime ministers and people on the ground in Ukraine. They defined what exactly they needed, and a lot of it is medical and immediate triage supplies," Tufts said.

Donated items can be brought to all Common Man restaurant locations throughout New Hampshire.

The list of NEW, UNUSED ITEMS needed are:

  • Tactical First Aid kits
  • Hemostatic gauze
  • Tourniquets
  • Occlusive tape
  • Burn bandages
  • Sterile wipes
  • Elastic bandages
  • PPE
  • Pill packs
  • Tracheostomy kits
  • NPA masks
  • Dressings
  • Pain meds (Tylenol, ibruprofin)
  • Personal hygiene products
  • Heavy duty hunting or military boots
  • Heavy duty gloves
  • Sleeping bags
  • Insulated sleeping mats
  • Diapers
  • Sanitary wipes
  • Boxes of tampons

Donations may also be brought to the DEKA warehouse, located at 540 Commercial Street in Manchester, on Thursday, April 14, Friday, April 15, and Saturday, April 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Donations for the New Hampshire Ukraine Relief Fund can be made by online giving on graniteuw.org or by texting NH4UKRAINE to 41444.

Memorial Bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery lit in the colors of the Ukranian flag
Memorial Bridge between Portsmouth and Kittery lit in the colors of the Ukranian flag (Will Zimmerman/@will_zimm_)
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"The world's a small, intimate place"

"The people of New Hampshire are really great. They step up every year not only for people in our state, but for people around the country and people all across the world," Tufts said, adding that has been surprised by the number of people in New Hampshire with connections to Ukraine.

"The world's a small, intimate place. This sort of project feels good when you realize how many direct connections there are to people who are really struggling," Tufts said.

The United Way is also working to make sure that the donated items actually get from the U.S. to Ukraine despite the high shipping costs, a problem many organizations have run into after their collections.

"We're working with really established partners like the National Guard and the Polish government or even the Ukrainian government to get things to where they need to go," Tufts said.

Collection set up at a Common Man restaurant
Collection set up at a Common Man restaurant (Granite United Way)
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Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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