MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — A Gold Star in Middletown is hosting a fundraiser Thursday to benefit Ukraine relief efforts and raise awareness.
The fundraiser will see the Gold Star, located at 449 Oxford State Road, donate 50% of all sales on May 5 to purchase medical supplies and other items for Ukraine. The restaurant chain, which opened in Cincinnati in 1965, will also be collecting monetary donations and supplies at the Middletown location, including antibiotic ointment, burn cream, disinfectant wipes and water purification items.
Currently, at least 13 million Ukrainian residents have been displaced due to Russia's invasion, according to a release from Gold Star.
The efforts for Ukraine are inspired by two Middletown sisters, Stephanie Hall and Annie King. Both Ukraine natives, the pair traveled to Ukraine in March to deliver donated supplies, including medicine, masks, toilet paper and more.
Gold Star Middletown owner Hatem Shteiwi heard about the sisters' efforts from an employee and wanted to continue to support them and Ukraine.
"After our story originally aired, Gold Star reached out to partner to continue our relief efforts," Hall said. "The people of Ukraine have a special place in our hearts, and we are happy to continue to support them."
With the assistance of friends already in Ukraine, the purchased and sent items will be delivered to assist troops and refugees.
Other than Gold Star, several other Middletown business — such as the Middletown Police Department and a hospital — will be contributing supplies that will be sent overseas.
Overall, Shteiwi is excited the Middletown community is so supportive of Ukraine and the missions of Hall and King.
"At Gold Star, we treat everyone like family — from the people that work here to the community we serve to those who are family of our neighbors, the Ukrainian people included," Shteiwi said. "With this fundraiser, we hope to send much-needed supplies to those who need them and raise awareness of what is happening to the Ukrainian people."
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