Fresno church leaders aim to raise money to support Ukrainians

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- At least a dozen faith-based leaders stood shoulder to shoulder with members from the local Ukrainian community Thursday in support of an effort to bring some relief to the conflicted region.

"We must not say to people who suffer, even if they're on the other side of the world that you're on your own," says Randy White. "We must not say that and today, we are saying we are with you."

Local pastors urged the public to assist in the city-wide campaign to raise money.

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At the end of three weeks, the collected funds will be sent by each individual congregation to the area to help the humanitarian needs of the citizens of Ukraine.

"The need is immediate and we need to get the funds to them as quickly as possible to be able to help them," says Jim Franklin. "That's what we're encouraging as the community of faith, as one Fresno, as a city to let our brothers and sisters of Ukraine know we're with you, we're praying for you and we're going to help you in anyway that we can."

As part of the campaign launch, Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer took it a step further by pledging the city's support for Ukrainian refugees and offered to welcome any family who might seek asylum at this time.

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"Any families can contact our office of community affairs and I promise you, they can put folks in touch with the appropriate authorities and they've already done that with countless people here in Fresno," he said.

If you're interested in supporting the fundraiser, the campaign ends March 31.
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