With the help of Green Garage tenants and allies, the organization raised $2,000. The money was sent to Zhuravel, who partnered with a Kyiv-based restaurant to feed defense forces on the front lines.
   

 

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  Ukrainians receive help through Global Ties Detroit, local business

DETROIT - Ukrainian citizens who connected with area residents and businesses two years ago through an international exchange program are now receiving a bit of help from metro Detroit.

Just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a Ukrainian delegation visited the region as part of program put on by Global Ties Detroit. The nonprofit builds civic diplomacy by allowing U.S. and foreign citizens to visit their respective countries, swap best practice ideas on everything from diversity to science, and work with local businesses.

The Green Garage, a sustainability-focused workspace for small businesses in Detroit, was among the stops for the six individuals from Ukraine during the March 2020 visit. Visitors like Anastasia Zhuravel, who founded a charitable shop in Kyiv, learned how Green Garage co-founders Peggy and Tom Brennan develop and operate businesses on a “triple bottom line” basis, focusing on their economic, social and environmental impact.

Fast forward to the horrors now befalling Ukraine. The Green Garage leadership team wanted to help their new friends.

“When the invasion (of Ukraine) happened, we started thinking about the people we’d met from there, and we wanted to express our support and solidarity,” explained Matthew Piper, who leads operations and communications for Green Garage. “So, we reached out to Global Ties, and they were able to connect us with Anastasia directly.”

With the help of Green Garage tenants and allies, the organization raised $2,000. The money was sent to Zhuravel, who partnered with a Kyiv-based restaurant to feed defense forces on the front lines.

“One of the things I love about Global Ties is having the opportunity to see how people all over the world can be similar in their thinking,” noted Piper. “We really understood what Anastasia was doing in Kyiv in the same way she understood what we’re doing in Detroit. It has meant so much to our community to be able to contribute directly to relief efforts in Ukraine thanks to our friendship.”

The experience underscores the importance of building international ties, said Marian Reich, executive director of Global Ties Detroit.

“Finding our commonality through these connections really does have a much broader impact. That’s why global diplomacy is so important,” Reich said. “Not only does it make for greater understanding and better world relations, but it could also create long-term collaboration and support.”

Global Ties Detroit will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. For more information, go to https://www.globaltiesdetroit.org/.  To learn more about Green Garage, go to https://greengaragedetroit.com/.

 

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