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Kiwanis Club of Rhinelander starts campaign to raise funds for Ukrainian relief

Katie Thoresen
Rhinelander Kiwanis kicked off its Ukrainian Relief fundraising campaign with a $1,000 contribution.

The Rhinelander Kiwanis Club is sending financial aid to the Kiwanis Luxembourg Foundation in Europe.

This will directly help people in Ukraine.

Ryan Hetland felt the call to action earlier this month as he watched Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy address Congress.

“He showed a video of the Ukrainian people that was compiled over years of pictures of just very normal life of just like everybody in this room,” said Hetland. “Then it showed a video of pictures of their lives right now. Tears welled up in my eyes. The pictures are just gut wrenching.”

Heltand started talking to people about what was being done and what he could do.

As a member of the Rhinelander Kiwanis Club, he knew its mission would align with supporting the Ukrainian people.

“Our mission is to change the world one community, one child at a time,” said Hetland.

Kiwanis International already has clubs in Slovakia and Romania along the Ukraine border.

Rhinelander Kiwanis is now collecting money to send to the Kiwanis Luxembourg Foundation which will provide food, shelter, and clothing for the Ukrainian people through those clubs.

“Our club has been around since 1962. That’s 60 years of our community helping us fundraise for the community. This one time, we are asking the Northwoods community to donate, and we are sending it overseas,” said Hetland.

Katie Thoresen/WXPR
People who donate at least $100 will receive a t-shirt.

Rhinelander Kiwanis kicked off the donations by contributing a thousand dollars.

There are multiple ways to donate.

Checks can be made to Rhinelander Kiwanis Club.

They can be mail to the club at PO Box 613 in Rhinelander.

Local businesses including Peoples State Bank, the YMCA of the Northwoods, the Habitat for Humanity Restore, LaSalle St. Securities, Animal Health Care Center, and Ripco Credit Union are collecting checks.

There’s also a GoFundMe site set up for online donations.

Hetland says the goal is to raise at least $10,000 by the end of May. You can follow the fundraising effort on the Kiwanis Club of Rhinelander Facebook page.

“I think if we receive donations of less than $10,000, I would be disappointed. Let’s step up and do something. Everybody seems to want to want to help. Let’s do it,” said Hetland.

Hetland says the need is immediate and will be ongoing.

Even if the war ends tomorrow, there are still millions of people that have been displaced.

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