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Everyone has a story. We want to share yours.


Julia Kell


Thanks for taking the time to sit with us to share your thoughts with our readers. Can you start out by sharing a little bit about you?

Sure! I'm originally from Odesa when it was still part of the FSU (Former Soviet Union). I was 7 years old when my family defected to escape communism. We traveled along the corridor the Ukrainian Jewish diaspora took back then through Austria and Italy and were so very grateful to the United States for taking us in.

I grew up in the Los Angeles area, studied in Austin and New York City, and traveled the United States and Europe as a professional trombonist with musicals and jazz bands before deciding to switch to a career in Health IT.

Now I live near downtown Denver with my husband, our young daughter, and our silly, loveable cattle dog, Orcie. I’m also passionate about giving back to my community by volunteering as a coach at Cross Purpose, Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains’ Refugee Resettlement Program, and give free trombone lessons at my daughters school.

Can you tell us why you stand with Ukraine?

I grew up in the shadow of WWII hearing stories from my grandparents of invaders who went across our land town by town, house by house doing terrible things. I had always wondered what I would have done had I been alive to witness it.

For my family, sitting by doing nothing while Russia instituted a scorched earth and terror campaign against Ukraine reminiscent of WWII was never an option. The day Russia declared war, my cousins and I stayed up half the night googling charities and trying to determine how we can get aid to Ukraine as fast as possible.

Over the last 11 months, everyone from my 7-year-old daughter to my 73 year old aunt and uncle have demonstrated, donated, packed humanitarian aid bags, tried to organize fundraisers, or written to our representatives. We will continue to support Ukraine in their fight by whatever means we have at our disposal for as long as it takes.

Well, thank you for sharing your thoughts. In closing, is there a project, nonprofit, or an event that our readers should support?

Yes! Please support Ukrainians of Colorado and Hi Hello Ukraine locally! They are doing amazing work!

Also, please consider supporting a group of volunteers my elderly uncle Leonid Rikun organized in Odesa Ukraine to sew thermal undergarments for the territorial defense. For the price of $100 in fabric, the volunteers can sew 30 pairs of thermal underwear for the guys and girls risking their lives in the brutal cold to defend Ukraine! Every little bit helps!

This is Uncle Leonid in the news:

His wife, Inna Rikun's paypal:

people & organizations every Ukrainian supporter should know


Everyone has a story. We want to share yours.

Every professional, every business, nonprofit, project, venture has a story. HiHelloUkraine wants to share your story with the broader community of Ukrainian well-wishers and supporters.

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Everyone has a story. We want to share yours.

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