More than 2 million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion two weeks ago
The sports broadcaster was promoting his autobiography ‘It’s Marty’ at a party on Thursday night and used the occasion to raise money for the relief effort to support Ukrainians who have had to flee their homes because of the Russian invasion.
Marty pledged the proceeds of book sales at the event to the Irish Emergency Alliance which is made up of seven of Ireland’s international aid charities who are supporting those affected by the crisis.
ActionAid, Christian Aid, Plan International, Self Help Africa, Tearfund, Trócaire and World Vision make up the seven members of the alliance.
The book has been on sale since October 2021 but due to Covid-19 restrictions the official launch had to be postponed several times.
“Donating the proceeds of tonight's book sales to the Irish Emergency Alliance to support their relief efforts on the ground in the Ukraine is a small gesture, but one that I hope will help,” Marty said.
Caoimhe de Barra, CEO of Trόcaire said: “We are extremely grateful to Marty for this support and indeed to all of those Irish people who have donated to the Irish Emergency Alliance Ukraine Appeal.”
“More than 2 million people have now fled Ukraine to escape the violence and many more are displaced inside Ukraine. Most of those fleeing Ukraine are women and children who are arriving at the border with only what they can carry.”
“Irish Emergency Alliance colleagues are responding to the crisis on the Ukrainian border with Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania and Moldova. They are helping people who are fleeing the fighting and have often arrived with only a single suitcase or backpack,” she explained.
“Many have travelled for days to reach safety and are coping with freezing temperatures dropping below minus 8 degrees at night. Nearly all of those leaving Ukraine are grandmothers, mothers and children.”
“Husbands and fathers have dropped them at the border before heading back,” de Barra continued.
“In Slovakia, one woman we spoke with said that the Ukraine side of the border is hell and the Slovakian side of the border is heaven. One young boy, only 11 years of age, walked by himself to the border. His mother wrote the name of relatives in Slovakia on his arm and on his passport.”
“Thankfully his relatives were waiting for him when he crossed the border,” she said.
The Irish Emergency Alliance is working through local partners who are supporting relief efforts in Ukraine and neighbouring countries by providing food, water, blankets, shelter and medical supplies as well as emotional support.
“It’s easy to feel helpless when confronted by the scale of the suffering in Ukraine but at times like this donating money to charities responding to the crisis will make a huge difference to people desperately in need of support,” de Barra continued.
“We know that there are huge pressures on people’s pockets here at home but urge people to give whatever they can to help those caught up in this crisis.”
Professional dancer Ksenia Zsikhotska, Marty's Dancing with the Stars season 2 partner, who is Ukranian born and raised, expressed her gratitude to Marty for using the event to support Ukraine.
Earlier this week, Ksenia and fellow Dancing With The Stars dancer John Nolan released a video to raise funds for Ukraine.
The video shows the pair dancing to a well known Ukrainian song, and is dedicated to the people of the country.
As Russia’s invasion continues, the dancer said she wanted to shed a light on the situation from a different angle.
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