We want to share a story with you that proves once again that interaction and support can work like magic and change our world for the better.
In May 2023, the UNITED24 ambassadors, the American band Imagine Dragons, presented a video for their song Crushed. It tells the story of a 14-year-old Sasha from Novohryhorivka, Mykolaiv region, whose house was destroyed by Russian shelling.
The video, which drew attention to Sasha’s story, was directed by Ty Arnold, the author of the most popular Imagine Dragons videos. Ty met Sasha during a two-month visit to Ukraine.
I met Sasha while delivering humanitarian supplies to his village, Novohryhorivka. I was looking at the destroyed houses and noticed Sasha wandering alone. I started talking to him, learning about his story, and filming him as we talked. After talking with Imagine Dragons about a music video, I felt like the images I filmed with Sasha would tell an important story about Ukraine and the war. Sasha eventually agreed, and I’m so glad that we created a positive story that made a difference in his life,” commented Ty Arnold.
“When Ty came to Ukraine, we thought that he would only visit Kyiv, the nearby region at most, but he went further. For two months, he travelled through the East and South of Ukraine, despite being in constant danger. He celebrated the New Year with the Ukrainian military in Bakhmut. And then he told us that he had filmed a short story about a boy and thought it would make a music video for Imagine Dragons. Of course, we were incredibly grateful, as every work of art like this is an opportunity to remind the world again and again about the war in Ukraine. The Crushed video was a real tearjerker. And we immediately understood that we had to help Sasha return home. So we asked for the help of our partner – Aurora market chain. The entire approval process took 10 minutes. And for this instant reaction, for this sincerity, we take a bow towards every UNITED24 donor,” says Yaroslava Gres, UNITED24 Coordinator.
Due to a request from the UNITED24 fundraising platform, the Aurora team learned about Sasha’s story and decided to support him by rebuilding his house.
“Sasha’s house is substantially destroyed, and we need to rebuild entire fragments from scratch. So we decided to add a couple of more rooms and the veranda Sasha’s mum had dreamed of. The builders make their best effort to complete the works as soon as possible, presumably in a few months. All the teams participating in the project feel involved in the story of a guy who refused any offers to move to the city or another village, a new house or apartment, because his only dream is to return to his home. We are happy to help this dream come true,” says Taras Panasenko, Aurora’s CEO.