Mercer County family raises funds for Ukraine orphans

If you live in Hamilton Township or near the area, come to 77 Christine Avenue on March 18th from 5:30 P.M. to 9:30 P.M. to support an important mission to help aid orphanages across the Ukraine. The cost of attendance is $40 plus tax which includes food from local restaurants, beer, wine and music performed by DJ Dan Murphy. 100 % of the proceeds will benefit the International Host Connection, a non-profit organization that was created by four close friends with a heart and passion for the country of Ukraine and for hosting orphans. The host of the event, Farrah Mejia, is a mom and an accountant, who lives in Hamilton, New Jersey and has a personal connection to Ukraine.

“I organized a group of friends to help me pull off an event very quickly. I just recently realized that we could have pulled off something even larger than what we set out to do and we may plan something much more formal [in the future], given more time to plan for the event. We jumped in to help with an immediate need of cash to evacuate as many people as possible,” Mejia said.

The International Host Connection estimates they will need about $20,000 a month to continue to assist with efforts to support the orphanages and other evacuees, but Mejia set her sights on raising $25,000.

“[IHC] have sent money to families of the orphans as well to help them evacuate. I have always wanted to adopt/foster. I have two children currently, and we considered having more, but I work full-time and my hours and responsibilities caused me to fear not being able to juggle another infant, but I want more children,” Mejia said.

Hosting has allowed the Mejia family to see if they could in fact manage adding another child to the brood. “When we met the children we hosted, I fell in love, they were a perfect fit for our family. They have a 5-year-old sister who was too young to host, but if we can move forward with adoption, we will seek to adopt her as well,” Mejia shared.

Ukraine/Russia have outlined "safe corridors" and the children she hosted have now been moved out of Sumy to a safer location within Ukraine.

International Host Connection have people in Ukraine, Poland and the U.S. who are working tirelessly to raise money and supplies for the children. Funds that have been raised already were used to purchase food, transportation, medicine, housing, and clothes. People can follow IHC on Facebook to keep up to date on various fundraising events and news.

“I am trying to find the right contacts to help get our host children and their sister visas to come spend the next few months with us where we can care for them. The children were supposed to be here with us again on June 18th for 12 weeks,” Mejia told the Trenton Journal.

Mejia expressed that it seemed logical that her kids from Ukraine come to the U.S. early instead of sitting in refugee camps with little resources. "Let them come to a home with people who love them and want to care for them and protect them."

For tickets and more information about this fundraiser, click here.

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