A Northwest D.C. beer garden with several Ukrainian staff members is raising money to help refugees and others in the war-torn country.
Zoriana Makar, manager at Dacha Beer Garden, said that as long as the war continues, “we are definitely going to do something here and we will try our best to raise as much money as we can.”
Makar is from Ternopil in western Ukraine. Her friends and family still live there and in the besieged capital city of Kyiv.
“Every day, I wake up and I have to text my mom and my friends just to make sure they OK, but I also have so many friends and family in Kyiv who are just stuck there, and they sleep in the basements and in the bomb shelters,” said Makar.
When the invasion began Thursday, Makar began receiving messages and calls, all checking if her family was OK and whether anything could be done to help.
“I was just really mad for the past three days, I couldn’t think straight,” said Makar.
“Our owners (at Dacha), who are Russian, said we need to do fundraisers,” continued Makar. “They called me immediately. They’re like, ‘what does your family need? Let’s raise money. We have to do something to help people in Ukraine fight this war.’”
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They hosted a happy hour at their Shaw location Saturday, and raised $3,000.
“It has been really amazing, and at Dacha, we do have a lot of regulars, neighbors and friends who came in, and they say, ‘we want to help you guys.’”
Dacha Beer Garden already has two more fundraising events lined up, including sending a portion of certain beer sales on Sunday to Ukrainian Aid, as well as a silent auction they will host on Wednesday, March 2.
Their other location in Navy Yard is currently closed for renovations, but will open March 8 and will likely host events too, according to Makar.
The money they raise will go to groups like UNICEF’s Ukraine emergency fund and Razom for Ukraine.
“We also want to raise money for smaller organizations and particularly for my region, because it’s very close to my heart,” said Makar.