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Utahn who served mission in Ukraine looking to raise funds to help

Posted at 5:19 PM, Feb 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-26 21:19:10-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Since the beginning of the invasion overnight Thursday, many are asking what they can do to help with the crisis in Ukraine. That’s why a group of dedicated Utahns are helping people connect with fundraisers.

Several people gathered at the Capitol again Friday to rally and help steer people in the right direction.

READ: Crisis in Ukraine: Here's how you can help

Nathan Petersen, who served a mission with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 2018-20, is one of those people trying to do what he can from here in Utah.

“Having lived there and knowing these people are suffering, it’s very difficult to see the actions of a few people can cause so much suffering to so many people we know and love,” said Petersen

Even a half a world away, Petersen still has many loved ones in the country.

READ: Utah family scrambling to get relatives out of Ukraine

“They’re really strong and most of them are safe and well, but they’re scared quite frankly, and they don’t know what they can do,” said Petersen.

He says they were all hoping it wouldn’t come to this, but it comes as no surprise.

“A lot of the escalation has honestly been going on since 2014 and earlier, but it’s especially ramped up in the last few months,” he said.

WATCH: President Zelenskyy posts new video on streets of Ukraine as Russian forces attack Kyiv

Petersen has been working to raise funds to help those impacted during the invasion, and he’s been sharing on social media so others can help, too.

“I know it’s difficult, it doesn’t seem like a lot we can do here, especially in Utah where there’s not as many big rallies going on like there are in New York and other cities around the country, but there’s still a lot we can do as people," Petersen said. "There are many fundraisers that people can donate to, to help support the Ukrainian military directly, help medical supplies, and to help with the reconstruction that’s going to be needed after all of this.”

Petersen has created a resource for people looking to donate to those in need.

Plans are underway for a support rally to be held on Utah's Capitol Hill on Saturday at 1 p.m. for those looking to show their support.