‘Unite For Ukraine’ benefit concert raises money to send medical supplies to war zone

People in Virginia Beach came together to support Ukraine Sunday night.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — On Sunday, a group of bands held a benefit concert to support Ukrainians impacted by the Russia-Ukraine war. 

A large group gathered at Elevation 27 in Virginia Beach for the Unite for Ukraine concert. 

“We came to support Ukraine and the people over there, and we’re very concerned about their safety,” said concert attendee Laura Low. 

Bands played in English, Ukrainian and Russian languages. 

Anatoliy Stepanenko is a member of the VO-BLA band and organized the concert. Stepanenko is also from Russia.

“Nobody wants a war. It doesn’t matter who you are. You‘re Russian or Ukrainian or somebody else. Nobody wants a war. It’s a problem right now for them,” said Stepanenko. 

Stepanenko said the drummer in his band is from Ukraine and recently returned to his homeland to fight in the war. 

“I tried to help him, help his family help his friends, help everybody,” said Stepanenko. 

The ticket sales from the concert will help Tidewater Ukrainian School send medical supplies to people in Ukraine.

“As of today, we already had five shippings. It’s more than 400 boxes,” said Tidewater Ukrainian School Director Tetiana Ordono. 

Right now, Tidewater Ukrainian School teachers are sorting supplies in a Virginia Beach church. Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer is supporting the cause.

Dyer said he’s working with the school to get a bigger place to keep supplies.

“We’re arranging now for them to have a free storage facility where people can drop off materials that are needed in Ukraine,” said Dyer.

According to Ordono, the school has spent $20,000 to send supplies to Ukraine, so far.

Dyer said Virginia Beach city leaders are also looking into forming a “sister-cities type of relationship” with the city of Odesa, Ukraine.

“Now, Odesa is similar to Virginia Beach. They have a Naval Presence, they got a port, they have beaches and tourism and everything,” said Dyer.  

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