Home Local News Rockingham VFW hosts ride for Ukrainian refugees

Rockingham VFW hosts ride for Ukrainian refugees

Several motorcycles riders pull out of the VFW Post 4203 parking lot Oct. 22 to benefit Ukrainian refugees. Photos by William R. Toler - Richmond Observer

ROCKINGHAM — A small Saturday motorcycle ride raised nearly $1,500 for Ukrainian refugees.

Eddie Dean, commander of VFW Post 4203, said he had been wanting to do something to help since the war started.

Dean said the $1,480 raised — despite the number of riders — “was pretty good.”

In addition to the donation to ride, there was also a 50/50 raffle and a silent auction. Auction items included an Xbox 1, motorcycle helmets and a bottle of bourbon.

Dean said he also received several checks, including one from the Moose Lodge.

The money raised will go towards the efforts of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services.

Nassir Ahmad, philanthropic advisor, said the “VFW was very nice to sponsor” the fundraiser.

A native of Afghanistan, Ahmad spent 12 years as a combat interpreter and cultural advisor to the U.S. military.

Ahmad said the organization is resettling refugees all over the United States, including Chicago.

“So far we have over 25,000 Ukrainians that are in the country,” Ahmad said, adding that the U.S. is planning to accept 100,000. “We are covering their … emergency housing (and) groceries until their public benefits are released.”

The funds are also being used to help with medical bills for the many single mothers with children who are coming in.

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According to Ahmad, there are welcome centers in Seattle, Washington; Baltimore, Maryland; and San Antonio, Texas. The third phase will add centers in Charlotte and New York.

See photos below.

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Managing Editor William R. Toler is an award-winning writer and photographer with experience in print, television and online media.