GUAYNABO, Puerto Rico — Celebrity couple Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher have created a GoFundMe fundraiser to support Ukraine. With a goal to raise $30 million, the couple vowed to match up to $3 million from their own money, which they did. The couple created the fundraiser at the beginning of March 2022 and it took roughly two weeks for them to meet and surpass their goal. Although many other celebrities are lending similar support to Ukrainians, for Kunis and Kutcher, the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine is a much more personal matter.
A Personal Connection to Ukraine
Mila Kunis was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, in 1983, and relocated to the U.S. as a child in 1991. She is a “proud Ukrainian” and has called the attack on Ukraine unjust and devastating. In an interview with Maria Shriver on March 13, 2022, Kunis explained that her immediate family members were the last members of her family to migrate to the U.S. During World War II, the majority of her family ended up in concentration camps and worker camps or became part of the war in some way.
After World War II, many members of her family migrated to Israel, the U.S. and other countries. Kunis, along with her parents, grandparents and brother, migrated to the U.S. when she was 7 years old. Kunis also detailed how moving to the U.S. as a child made her feel like an American for most of her life. She went on to explain that when she saw the news of the war in Ukraine she felt like a part of her heart “just got ripped out.”
Kunis then continued to explain that she has friends living in Ukraine and that she has spoken with them about the situation, which led her to discover that some cities refuse to evacuate and still expect their citizens to go to work despite the ongoing war. Kunis ended her recount of what inspired her and her husband to start the fundraiser by calling Ukrainians “a different breed of people” and praising their bravery and resilience.
How These Donations Help Ukrainians
This feeling Kunis described of her heart being “ripped out” by the news of the war in Ukraine inspired her and Kutcher to start a GoFundMe fundraising page to provide “refugee and humanitarian aid” to Ukrainians. The fundraiser intends to support Flexport.org and Airbnb.org, which are some of the organizations currently providing aid to Ukrainian refugees. Flexport is shipping relief supplies to refugee centers in Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova. Airbnb is providing housing to Ukrainian refugees fleeing the country. These refugees have opted to leave behind everything they know and love to find a safer place, away from the war and this fundraiser will help support the aid that Flexport and Airbnb are providing them.
Recognition From Ukrainian President Zelenskyy
On March 20, 2022, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with the couple through a video call to thank them and posted two status updates on Twitter expressing his gratitude to Kunis and Kutcher. In one of his posts, President Zelenskyy said: “Ashton Kutcher [and Mila Kunis]were among the first to respond to our grief. They have already raised $35 million and are directing them to [Flexport and Airbnb to help refugees with]. I personally thanked them for their support. [I am impressed] by their determination. They inspire the world. #StandWithUkraine.”
The Ukrainian president also spoke on the matter the following Monday, March 21, 2022, calling Kunis and Kutcher a “star couple who sincerely believe in [Ukraine], our victory and our future” and thanking them on behalf of Ukrainians. In fact, Kunis and Kutcher’s fundraising impact is so significant that they are the only celebrity couple that Zelenskyy personally contacted to extend his gratitude for their support.
Their Fundraiser is Continuing to Raise Millions
Kunis and Kutcher’s GoFundMe fundraiser for Ukraine continues, raising millions for Ukraine by the minute. The couple created the fundraiser page on March 3, 2022, and by March 31, 2022, only 29 days later, they had already surpassed their goal of $30 million. By March 31, 2022, at 4:35 p.m. (ET), they had raised a total of $35,640,000 and had received 73,800 donations. More so, these numbers are continuously rising. In fact, by 4:55 p.m. (ET) on March 31, 2022, the funds donated had risen to $35,645,200, rising by $5,200 in just 20 minutes. Additionally, as the fundraising page remains active and continues receiving donations, one can expect that Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher will raise millions more for Ukraine in the coming weeks.
– Marcela Agreda L.