Idaho teens raise $50,000 to rebuild three homes destroyed by war in Ukraine
Jul 27, 2022, 10:52 AM
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — A group of four Idaho teens is heading to Ukraine to help rebuild homes destroyed in the war.
The humanitarian project was only made possible after they raised $50,000 in donations from the community.
Chase Miller, 13, said he and his friends started fundraising two-and-a-half months ago.
“I knocked every door in my neighborhood. I went to the grocery store, I even texted all my school friends, and miraculously, it worked,” Miller said.
His mother, Svitlana Miller, is from Ukraine and started the non-profit ToUkraineWithLove at the beginning of the war. On her last humanitarian trip in May, she was able to connect with a manufacturing company that builds the modular homes for $15,000 a piece.
“Everything is turn key— furniture, blankets, pillow, stove fridge, washing machine,” she said.
It was on that same trip that she found three Ukrainian families who lost their homes when Russian troops attacked their town just outside of Kyiv.
Now, the group is heading to the area for about a week to help the families settle into the new homes. It is a cause the families of these teenagers said will forever be near and dear to them.
“It was incredible to watch them share that, and now, it’s great that they get to actually see the fruits of their labor,” mother Kimri Murphy said.
Kimri’s sons — 17-year-old Jaden and 14-year-old Landon — helped raise funds over their summer by knocking on doors in their neighborhood. They said Tuesday night before departing Salt Lake International Airport that this trip means a lot to them and the families they are helping.
“It is a little overwhelming because we are finally here,” Jaden said. “Us as individuals, we cannot simply just stop the war, but we can do whatever we can to help it.”
The group hopes to make another trip to gift homes to more Ukrainian families if they can raise the funds on their non-profit website.