Vermonters gathered on Church Street Saturday afternoon to show their support for Ukraine. One Ukrainian says that over 12 million Ukrainians have been displaced out of their homes. They say the event isn’t only to raise awareness but to also raise funds for families in need.

Slava Ukraini, Heroiam Slava. In English, glory to Ukraine and glory to the heroes. Vermonters chanted these words in Burlington — showing their support for Ukraine.

“What’s happening in Ukraine is just wrong,” says Burlington resident David Call.

Ukrainians took the stage in front of City Hall. Jeanette Bacevius is a first generation Ukrainian American.

“Being Ukrainian is an important part of my life. I wanted to get to know other Ukrainians in Vermont for a long time. I didn’t know where they were,” says Jeanette Bacevius.

When war broke out, she says she was devastated. After meeting other Ukrainians at other rallies, she wanted to organize one herself.

“Together we said we wanted to have events to promote awareness about Ukraine and about the war,” Bacevius says.

Yuyila Rudick’s parents live in Ukraine. She was on the phone with her dad when he described being hit by a bomb.

“I remember this terrible feeling of being afraid for your loved one,” says Yuyila Rudick. “For someone you really care about. And I just remember being afraid to hang up the phone because I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to talk with him again.”

Following the rally, Vermonters marched across Church Street.

At the first Ukrainian Unitarian Society Church, Vermonters got a taste of Ukrainian culture.

“Ukraine has such as beautiful culture,” Rudick says. “I’m wearing Ukrainian culture and we have food music and beautiful art. We have art and clothing. We want Vermonters to honor Ukrainian culture because it’s beautiful.”

And organizers say it’s events like these that motivate their families to endure.

“I called my dad and grandparents and showed them people speaking and they were so grateful almost tearing up in their eyes,” Rudick says.

They say they will keep fighting.

All the money raised at this event will go to the World Central Kitchen. The World Central Kitchen is a non-profit that feeds families from all around the world including in Ukraine. Organizers say you can help by raising awareness for Ukraine or by making a donation.