Hollywood Helping Ukraine: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's Archewell Foundation Sends Aid

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All eyes and hearts have been on Ukraine. On Feb. 22, Russian military forces invaded the country under orders given by Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the early days, the world watched as the people of Ukraine lived with sirens and explosions, as the neighboring country's forces dissipated buildings around them.  

In the weeks since the initial attack, around three million people have packed up their lives, children, pets and anything they can to flee the now war-torn country. Love has been extended across the globe, as some neighboring countries have opened their borders to allow these people to seek safety.

From afar, some of the biggest names in Hollywood are offering aid, donations and resources in support of the Ukrainian people. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher, and Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively are just a few celebrities who are giving to Ukraine.  

Here's a look at all the stars offering support:

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

The couple's Archewell foundation announced on March 18 that they would be aiding the Ukrainian people. 

"As we continue to closely follow the conflict in Ukraine, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and all of us at Archewell have been moved by the work of so many organizations on the frontlines. From longstanding partners like The HALO Trust to organizations we’ve been newly connected to like HIAS, Archewell Foundation has made donations to a number of groups working on the ground to provide aid to Ukrainians," read a statement from the foundation. "This includes a donation to Are We Europe, which is supporting a coalition of Ukrainian media including The Kyiv Independent as they provide accurate, critical information to Ukrainians and the world. We are also sharing a few first-hand experiences from our partners that are assisting with the global and local humanitarian response to the crisis."

The statement concludes, "As shared when this conflict first began, Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and all of us at Archewell stand with the people of Ukraine against this breach of international and humanitarian law and encourage the global community and its leaders to do the same."

Hayden Panettiere 

The Nashville alum launched Hoplon International to bring relief and aid directly to Ukrainians on the frontlines. The 32-year-old actress, who shares 7-year-old daughter Kaya with her ex, former professional Ukrainian boxer Wladimir Klitschko, posted a YouTube video on the organization’s website, urging people to help.  

“There are no words to describe what it’s been like to watch the war in Ukraine unfold. It’s gut-wrenching to know that the people of Ukraine and people I call my friends and family are desperately trying to defend the country they love and their way of life,” she said.  “I created Hoplon International to bring relief and aid directly to Ukrainians on the frontlines. I can’t continue to sit on the sidelines just watching this disaster unfold. Please don’t sit by idly. Help me by donating any amount that you can. Together we can make a difference in their fight.” 

Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher 

Kunis and Kutcher shared the exciting news that their Stand With Ukraine GoFundMe campaign surpassed its $30 million goal. Thanks to over 65,000 donations, the funds will go towards refugee and humanitarian aid, which includes relief supplies to refugee sites in Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova. In addition, funds will go towards free short term housing for refugees fleeing Ukraine. 

"We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the support," the actress said. "And while this is far from a solve of the problem, our collective effort will provide a softer landing for so many people as they forge ahead into their future of uncertainty."

The couple launched the Stand With Ukraine GoFundMe campaign, in March, in conjunction with Airbnb and FlexPort.org, with a $30 million goal for aid that would go directly to the Ukrainian people. Kunis, who was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, and her husband said they would match with $3 million of their own money.  

The funding focuses on logistics, setting up housing and making sure that supplies and other resources make it to the region. The pair explained that the aid will be transported to known NGOs (non-governmental organizations) on the ground, that will ensure that the aid is received by the people that need it the most.

Maksim Chmerkovskiy

The professional dancer had a firsthand look at what was happening in his home country of Ukraine since day one. The Dancing With the Stars alum documented his accounts from the initial invasion to the moment he was able to make it to Poland and return home to Los Angeles, California. Chmerkovskiy revealed that his work was not done and that he would make his return to Poland to assist firsthand with the crisis. 

“I spent the last couple of days with survivor’s remorse,” he said. “And I’m currently working on an opportunity to go back. Probably sometime next week I’m going to go back to Poland and joining efforts on the ground. Sort of want to justify my safe out that way.”   

Peta Murgatroyd 

Inspired by her husband, Maksim Chmerkovskiy's, time and dedication to his people, the Dancing With the Stars professional set up Peta’s Wardrobe, where fans and followers could purchase her clothes, shoes and handbags, with all off the proceeds going directly to Ukraine. The ballroom professional revealed that she's raised upward of $5,000. 

“All of this money will be going to the Ukrainian families who are now refugees," she told her followers. "We can buy so many hotel rooms for these families. I think it’s nearly $5,000, that’s going to go a long way. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”  

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds  

The couple matched dollar-for-dollar donations placed at the UN Refugee Agency, up to $1 million. In less than 48 hours, the goal was reached and with the help of Lively and Reynolds, the agency was able to provide double the aid to Ukrainians who are seeking refuge since the attacks on their country.

The organization announced that the donations have been matched and thanked the pair for their support, while encouraging others to keep their donations coming. 

“Thank you, @BlakeLively & @VancityReynolds! 💙💛 In less than 48 hours, your generous $1M match was met to provide lifesaving aid, protection and hope for displaced Ukrainians. This incredible gift has offered families hope on their uncertain journeys to safety,” the agency wrote on Instagram. “We are also so grateful for the incredible community of donors and supporters that you inspired. From making donations to raising awareness, our work would not be possible without your compassion.” 

Gigi Hadid 

The supermodel announced that she will donate all of her earnings from Fashion Month toward Ukraine. In an inspiring message, Hadid shared that the money she made from walking shows in New York, Paris and Milan Fashion Weeks, would go toward aid for refugees from Ukraine and Palestine.

“Having a set Fashion Month schedule has meant that my colleagues and I often present new fashion collections during heartbreaking and traumatic times in history,” she wrote on Instagram. “We don’t have control over most of our work schedules, but we would like to walk ‘for’ something. Following in the footsteps of my friend @micarganaraz, I am pledging to donate my earnings from the Fall 2022 shows to aid those suffering from the war in Ukraine, as well as continuing to support those experiencing the same in Palestine.”  

Hadid continued, “Our eyes and hearts must be open to all human injustice. May we all see each other as brothers and sisters, beyond politics, beyond race, beyond religion. At the end of the day, innocent lives pay for war- not leaders. HANDS OFF UKRAINE. HANDS OFF PALESTINE. PEACE. PEACE. PEACE. 🕊” 

Bethenny Frankel

The Real Housewives of New York City alum’s BStrong movement has not only raised funds but has provided on-the-ground support to Ukrainians. On March 8, the reality TV star announced that BStrong raised an additional $4 million in cash donations, in addition to the $10 million in aid it has already delivered.

During an interview on Live With Kelly and Ryan, Frankel explained how the monetary donations could help. "A $50 donation could be a train ticket for someone to get where they need to get to. So, it's been all about small donations, that's the thing that's been really inspiring," she said. 

Initially, BStrong was in Poland providing crisis kits, which included nonperishables, blankets, sleeping bags, water and generators. The movement was also in Poland helping refugees seek relocation. 

Frankel spoke with ET about what compelled her to spring into action and help. 

"I can't explain it, it's like in my body," she said. "I’m a problem solver, I'm a delegator, an executer, a connector, and I just, I can do this. You're looking at these stories and these people and you can help, and I have to control myself because I get very far in. But this has been built to a scale now where I can do it without it almost killing me."

"Now, we really, really do have a massive warehouse filled with aid. We really do have a system," she added. "We really figure out who we can and can't trust and it is treacherous and there is corruption and it is often scary and it's dangerous, but if you can help, you should."

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