DAVIDSON, N.C. — More than 300 people gathered in the town of Davidson on Sunday evening to rally in support of Ukraine.
The “Rally for Ukraine and Democracy” brought local Ukrainians and members of the Davidson College community to the Davidson Town Green in front of the town’s library beginning at 5 p.m.
Ukrainians, college professors and others spoke at the event that also included a moment of silence to show solidarity with the country and its people under siege by Russia.
Speaker Richard Davis said he was in the special forces and helped train Ukrainians. He said no one should be surprised by the fight in them.
“They take a solution and they make it Ukrainian. And they make it work for what they have and the resources. Or lack of resources,” Davis said.
Like many others in attendance, Aimee Symington, one of the organizers, is worried for loved ones still in the country. She said her husband has family stranded in Ukraine.
“We haven’t been able to talk to them for days. He has one cousin who is a pediatrician who we heard was working on children coming in with bullet shot wounds and damage from bombs,” she said. “His other relatives in Ukraine have escaped into the mountains, so we haven’t heard from them.”
Kateryna Balavei, a student from Ukraine, said the support meant everything to her. She said she is worried sick about her family.
“Every single day I wake up, I think about how is my family doing. I can’t call them. I can’t talk to them. I don’t know how are my friends doing cause they live in Kharkiv, Kyiv and Kherson. Where it’s horrible,” Balavei said.
Other attendees called for more Western countries to aid Ukraine in this conflict, so the country has the means to fight back
The event included a bake sale to support Ukraine. In their view, every penny can help.
Organizers also gathered clothing, blankets and canned goods to assist the hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians who have been forced to flee the country.
“The crowd was so, I think thirsty for guidance. And for what to do. And feels empowered now to help Ukraine. And there is so much more work still to be done. This was the beginning,” Ukraine supporter Motria Procyk said.
Organizers said the fact that they could get hundreds of people to participate — even though Ukraine is thousands of miles away — shows the kind of spirit that Putin is up against.
(WATCH BELOW: Hickory sock manufacturer raising funds for orphanage in Ukraine)
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