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Mila Kunis, Sean Penn, JK Rowling and Others Launch New Initiatives in the Wake of the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

Kunis and husband Ashton Kutcher have raised over $18 million on GoFundMe to support Ukrainian refugees


Several celebrities have announced new initiatives to bring humanitarian aid to those impacted by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

Mila Kunis, a Ukrainian-born actress who moved to the United States as a child, has raised over $18 million to assist people in her native country. Along with her husband, actor Ashton Kutcher, Kunis has promoted GoFundMe’s “Stand With Ukraine” page. The couple announced on March 6 that they will match up to $3 million donated to provide immediate support for Ukrainians “in their time of need.”

“This unjust attack on Ukraine and humanity at large is devastating and the Ukrainian people need our support,” Kunis wrote in an update. “Countless amounts of people have left everything they know and love behind to seek refuge. With nothing but what they could carry, these Ukrainian refugees are in need of housing and supplies right away.”

Kunis said their ultimate goal is to raise $30 million. The funds will benefit Flexport.org, which ships relief supplies to refugees in Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, and Moldova, and Airbnb, which is offering free, short-term housing to people fleeing Ukriane.

Actor Sean Penn is working with Vice Studios and in association with VICE World News and Endeavor Content to create a documentary on the conflict. Penn, who was on the ground hours after the initial invasion, also traveled to Donetsk to meet with separatist forces, per Deadline

According to NBC News, “Penn has previously been criticized for putting himself in the center of global crises.”

J.K. Rowling announced on March 7 that she would match up to £1 million ($1.3 million USD) in donations made to Lumos, a charity the author co-founded in 2005 to end the “systematic institutionalization of children worldwide.”

The charity estimates that 1,500 children have been left in orphanages since the invasion.

Gigi Hadid, a supermodel and social media starlet, said this week that she would contribute all her earnings from Fall 2022 fashion shows to relief efforts for Ukrainians. 

Scottish tennis player Andy Murray has pledged to donate all of the money he wins while competing for the rest of the year to UNICEF so the organization can bring medical supplies to those in need.  

“Over 7.5 million children are at risk with the escalating conflict in Ukraine,” Murray said on Twitter.

In addition to statements from celebrities, many major corporations have taken action against Russia following the invasion, including McDonald’s, TikTok, Google, and the NHL.

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