Ukraine: A message from President and CEO

by | Feb 28, 2022 | Refugees & Immigrants | 14 comments

This message was originally sent to the staff of Lutheran Community Services Northwest by President and CEO David Duea. We want to share it with our larger community.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is on all of our minds.  We have several team members who are formerly from Ukraine and Russia.  Over the years, we have resettled thousands of Ukrainian refugees here in the Pacific Northwest – over 2,100 over the last five years, in Tacoma, Portland and Vancouver.

Our prayers go out to our Ukrainian friends, as well as to our Russian staff and the people of Russia who do not support this aggression and who feel helpless. Our call, locally, is to show compassion to all.  Please be extra kind to those you are working with and serving.  If you can, when appropriate, reach out with words of support and comfort.

It is also our mission to continue welcoming those who face repression in foreign lands. We expect to receive more Ukrainian refugees over the coming months and years.  Our Vancouver district received 32 individuals from Ukraine in the first week of February alone. We will be prepared to welcome and serve.

If you are a member of the media and would like to speak with someone from LCS Northwest, please contact our Director of Communications, Matt Misterek, [email protected], 253.678.9092.


  1. Corinne Bugbee

    Our church council meets next week. What can we do to help our Ukrainian brothers and sisters? If dollars help, how do we get them to you? We heard about your beautiful work on the local news the last couple of days. Thank you so much for following Jesus’ directive to love the least of them.

    • Matt Misterek

      Thank you, Corinne. Take a look at the Refugee Response page on our website to see how to donate cash or how to order specific items of need through our Amazon wish lists.

      Our response was launched after the massive influx of Afghan refugees this fall and winter. But now we expect it to include Ukrainians and really to rebuild our entire refugee capacity.

  2. Elena Rengach

    Hello, we have family that ran from Ukraine to Poland due to war. Do you provide any help in Poland?

  3. Patsy Schirmer

    We live in Sammamish, Wa and have room to sponsor & house a family . We live near a school etc and would be able to get them on their feet. We have donated but would like to do more.

    • Matt Misterek

      Hi Patsy. Thanks for your interest. Sammamish is a difficult placement for us because of the distance from our Tacoma/ Puget Sound resettlement office, but feel free to check in with our volunteer coordinator Sheridan Moore, [email protected] – who might know of opportunities for you.

  4. Craig

    We could possibly host a Ukrainian family for s few months. Who can we contact

    • Matt Misterek

      Hi Craig, it depends on where you live. In our Tacoma resettlement office, it would be volunteer coordinator Sheridan Moore, [email protected]. In our Vancouver office, it’s Nikki Chung, [email protected]. Please note that we are limited to resettling refugees within roughly 30 miles of our resettlement offices. And Ukrainian refugee arrivals to the US are currently on hold.

  5. judy rae karlsen

    My family is interested in helping with housing for a Ukraine woman with one or two children

    • Matt Misterek

      Hi Judy, thanks for your interest. Depending on where you live, you could contact our Tacoma resettlement office volunteer coordinator, Sheridan Moore, [email protected], or in Vancouver, it’s Nikki Chung, [email protected]. Please note that we are limited to resettling refugees within roughly 30 miles of our resettlement offices. And that new Ukrainian refugee arrivals to the US are currently on hold.

  6. Leslie Stepherson

    Would a Thurston County address (mailing address is for “Olympia”) that is less than 5 minutes off I-5 exit 114 be considered within your 30-mile radius?

    • Matt Misterek

      Thurston should be fine, Leslie. And the radius is larger than previously indicated. We can generally place refugees around the greater Puget Sound region. Thanks for your interest.

  7. Cathy

    Are Ukrainian refugees arrivals in the US still on hold? We are considering hosting a family.

    • Matt Misterek

      There are some Ukrainians coming to the US who were in the normal refugee pipeline, sometimes for months or years. But none yet who fled as a direct result of the Russian invasion. Those folks largely remain in Poland and Eastern Europe, at least for now.