WASHINGTON (DC News Now) — In D.C., Ukrainians marked the anniversary of Russia invading Ukraine with fundraising efforts.
Dacha Beer Garden has raised almost $50,000 in the last year to help those on the ground.
The location in Shaw held a fundraiser on Friday where beer flowed under the shadow of a Ukrainian flag.
“The war is happening. The blood is being spilled,” said Iryna Kosovan, bar manager at Dacha Beer Garden in Shaw.
Ukrainian employees are banding together to help their friends and family back home.
“We are here to support the whole Ukrainian nation and we just trying to do our best so we are collaborating with the Sunflower Network,” Kosovan said.
For a $25 donation, customers received an extended happy hour with money going to the Sunflower Network.
“They’ve traveled themselves 13 times back and forth to Ukraine was from intern aid, and as well as help to the frontlines,” Kosovan said.
“It’s been a year of pain, horror, tears,” said Zoriana Makar, general manager of Dacha Beer Garden in Shaw.
But through those tears, Makar is on a mission to help.
“I’m happy that we are here today trying to do good things for good a cause, for a cause that’s helping millions of people who are helping our soldiers in the front line,” Makar said.
Customers with no connections to the country are supporting Ukrainian freedom.
“It’s so bizarre to me that they are still in it a year later so whatever we can do to support it we’ll do it,” said Nancy Devenport.
For Makar, it’s personal.
“I still do have family back home in Ukraine, friends who are actually on the front line, fighting for our freedom, Makar said.
Organizers are hoping to raise at least $25,000 this weekend.
“We will continue to support until the war is over and even when the word is over, we’ll continue to restore it,” Kosovan said.
Dacha Beer Garden in Navy Yard will also be hosting a fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 24 from 2 to 8 p.m. with live music, Ukrainian swag and Ukrainian bands playing.