Lincoln Company Fundraising for its Ukrainian Employees
By Aaron Bonderson , Report for America Reporter/Producer Nebraska Public Media
April 4, 2022, 8 a.m. ·
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A Lincoln company has raised more than $40,000 for food and shelter for its employees in Ukraine.
Sprious has 19 employees in Ukraine. They are all men, which means they are required to stay in the country. Some have moved to the west, but at least one person has stayed in Kyiv to fight. Most of the employees’ families have left the country. Stateside, the data collection firm has raised $43,000 for its employees to help pay for food and housing.
Chief operating officer Derek Knorr said one Sprious worker’s Kharkiv home was hit during Russia bombing attacks.
“At least one of the guys knows for sure that his home was destroyed in Kharkiv,” Knorr said. “He’s sent me pictures of his apartment building and his kid’s school and his old office building and they’re all just demolished. It’s pretty tragic.”
Knorr said guilt and frustration have been felt by the Lincoln-based workers because they’re going on with their normal lives while others are forced to worry about bombings.
He said the 70-person company has come together, since Ukraine was invaded.
“You just see this human side of connection that wasn’t necessarily there before, if that makes sense,” Knorr said. “We were colleagues, now, we are literally going through a war together - spread across thousands of miles but working through it together and trying to find a solution.”
Besides donating money for food and shelter, Sprious helped get its people out of eastern Ukraine safely. They sent for an armored vehicle and provided directions on the safest routes by monitoring traffic and Russian attacks. Also, they have a daily check-in set up for each of their Ukrainian colleagues.
Even though Sprious has no work requirements for its Ukrainian employees, Knorr said its Ukrainian employees have chosen to continue working if it is safe for them to do so.
For information on Sprious fundraising efforts in Ukraine, visit this link.
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