“All over the United States today donations are being made in accordance with a proclamation by President Wilson, to the fund for the relief of 1,000,000 Ukrainians who are in dire need of food, clothing, and shelter on account of the European war.”
The appeal to support the War Relief Committee of the Ukrainian Federation of the United States appeared in the Shenandoah Evening Herald on April 21, 1917. The fundraising effort was directed at the sizable Ukrainian immigrant population in Schuylkill County.
As World War I raged, the fertile soil and important industrial zones of Ukraine became a battleground, leaving the residents in dire circumstances.
The situation worsened in 1917 when the Russian Revolution broke out, starting a Ukrainian fight for independence that has continued, off and on, until the present day.
There are plenty of organizations doing similar work for the people of Ukraine today – one of our favorites is World Central Kitchen.
This organization, run by Chef José Andrés, is feeding Ukrainian refugees in Poland. I’ve met Chef Andrés in my previous work and can personally vouch for the good work his organization has done across the globe.
Me and Chef José Andrés at the Clara Barton Missing Soldiers Office Museum in May 2019.
Full article from the Evening Herald of Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, April 21, 1917:
TODAY OBSERVED AS UKRAINIAN RELIEF DAY
All over the United States today donations are being made in accordance with a proclamation by President Wilson, to the fund for the relief of 1,000,000 Ukrainians who are in dire need of food, clothing and shelter on account of the European war.
Among the subject populations of Europe in whom the war has stirred old ambitions for freedom are the Ukrainian people. The name is unfamiliar. They are better known as “Little Russians,” the name they bear in Czar’s Empire, and as “Ruthonians.” in Galicia. Of a total estimated population of 35,000,000, about four millions are under Austrian rule, the rest form a solid block in southwestern Russia. This is the famous “black earth” district of Russia, noted for its fertility.
The Ukraine produces one-third of the entire grain and cattle produce, 60 percent, of the manganese iron ore, 79 percent, of the pit coal, 99 percent, of the anthracite and B0- per cent, of the salt produce of the whole empire Next to the Great Russians or Muscovites, the Ukrainians constitute by far the most important numerical element among the races of the Russian empire, differing from the Muscovites in language, traditions, and general characteristics.
From among them the Russian revolution received many of its best men. To Russian literature they have given one of its greatest names Gogol, the father of the Russian novel. The melodies in minor key which the Americans take as characteristic of Russian music are [Ukrainian].
The Ukrainian language, which since the sixteenth century has acquired great literary importance, shows many distinguished modern writers. Had a talented interpreter been found to do for Ukraine which Brandes has done for the poets of Scandinavia, Europe would have gained a new source of literary enjoyment.
“The national poetry of few languages excels that of the Ukrainians in energy of expression and depth of feeling,” says the French savant Elisoe Reclus.
The Ukrainian folk art is justly famous. Yet this race is unknown. The Ukraine, a European country twice as large as France, with a population equal to that of Italy, is unknown to the world. But these people are most deserving and it is hoped that the generous people of the country will respond liberally to the appeal for assistance…