JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — A local nonprofit organization named Vols for Ukraine is supporting families that have come to the Tri-Cities as refugees with an art sale. The organization was founded by Nelly Ostrovsky, who was born in Ukraine and has lived in Johnson city for 33 years.
“So our goal is to raise funds first, then we have an application process which will allow families to apply for our small grants,” said Ostrovsky. “Our goal is not to hand out cash, our goal is to help pay for food, electric bill and maybe doctor bills. The main idea here is to have the funds that we raised here, stay here.”
Ostrovsky estimates that about 200 families have come to the Tri-Cities area from Ukraine during the recent invasion.
“We want to help next-door neighbors, we want to help people in our backyard,” said Ostrovsky.
Vols for Ukraine is hosting an art sale and auction at the Fischman Gallery on North Commerce Street in Johnson City to raise money for refugee families. The featured artwork was done by artists local to the Tri-Cities.
Nelly Ostrovsky reached out to Fischman Gallery about her idea. Nancy Fischman, owner of the gallery was happy to help Vols for Ukraine.
“She asked if she could put the show up, and I said sure and I told her that I would not take a commission on anything, all the proceeds would go to her organization,” said Fischman.
“The fact that all the proceeds will go to that organization and stay in this area has really got people to come and see the work,” Fischman told News Channel 11.
The last day to buy or bid on artwork to support Vols for Ukraine is Friday, Feb. 24. The gallery closes at 4 p.m.