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38 groups across Oregon and Washington raise over $140,000 for those fleeing to Poland

Members of 38 Rotary clubs across Oregon and Washington moved quickly to help thousands of Ukrainian refugees flooding into Poland to escape the Russian attack. Together the coalition raised over $140,000 in about one week.

Leading the effort is the Rotary Club of Portland Metro, which has ties to the Rotary Club of Biala Podlaska, in Poland. The 38 partnering clubs cover an area ranging from Tillamook to Pendleton, and from Salem to Battle Ground, Washington. It includes many clubs in the Portland/Vancouver metro area.COURTESY PHOTO: ROTARY CLUB - Ukrainian families have been rescued and housed safely in Poland since the Russian invasion and fleeing Kyiv.COURTESY PHOTO: ROTARY CLUB - Since the Russian invasion and fleeing Kyiv, the Uchodzcy family is now safely refugeeing elsewhere.

"Z.B. Chaberski is a Portland Metro member from Poland who was instrumental in helping to charter the Biala Podlaska Club in 2006," said Kristine Akins, past president of the Portland Metro Club. "He is going to Poland at the end of March to be our boots-on-the-ground."

The funds raised will help families, mostly women and children, who left everything behind when they fled the attack. This includes transportation to places of refuge, shelter and food, medical care, psychological care, and delivery of medical and other supplies.

Supplies will also be taken to the Ukrainian border for delivery deep into Ukraine to help those who remained to defend their country. Because the U.S. dollar is worth three times as much in Poland, the funds will make a big impact.

Through the years, the Portland Metro club has done several projects with the Biala Podlaska club, which has hosted many dignitaries advocating for peace. Following the emergency refugee relief effort, Rotarians from Oregon and Washington hope to continue to support peaceful resolutions in areas impacted by the Russian attack.

Biala Podlaska, the Rotary Club partnering with the effort, is located 27 miles from the Belarus border and about 50 miles from the Ukrainian border.

"ZB Chaberski has been in Portland for over 30 years, but frequently visits Poland and has led Portland Metro club members on multiple trips to the area. We learned first hand how amazing the people are, yet how precarious they always feel the situation with Russia is," Akins said.

Rotary International is a service organization with 1.4 million members in over 46,000 clubs worldwide.

The organization brings together business, professional and community leaders to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance goodwill, peace and understanding in the world. To join a club near you, visit

38 clubs partnering on this project include:


Battle Ground




Central East Portland


East Portland

Forest Grove

Gladstone/Oak Lodge

Greater Clark County

Hood River


Kruse Way

Lake Oswego





Oregon City


Portland Metro

Portland Pearl


SE Portland



Three Creeks






West Linn

West Salem

White Salmon-Bingen


This story has been updated online on March 10 to include a new total donation for Ukrainian relief efforts and to reflect six new Oregon/Washington Rotary Clubs joining the effort.

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