Inside Val & Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s Ukraine Relief Efforts
Val Chmerkovskiy is doing his part to help Ukraine amid its war with Russia.
“Extra” spoke with Val in Fort Lee, New Jersey, where he was assisting in the efforts to help those in need during the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Along with showing “blankets, women’s clothing, men’s clothing, first aid soldier supplies” to the camera, he said, “This is where all the donations and goods get repackaged. Across the street, we had to expand to another warehouse, it gets wrapped, packaged, put on a pallet… moved into Poland and transferred into the Ukraine.”
Val bonded with the volunteers, urging more people to help put together care packages for Ukraine. He noted, “All these people I did not know the other day.”
He pointed out, “In 18 days, we’ve already packaged 210,000 pounds of humanitarian aid… We already shipped out 160,000 [pounds]… I maybe can’t go and pick up a rifle, but I want to serve this effort as much as I can, where I can.”
After escaping Ukraine in the early days of the war, Val’s older brother Maksim Chmerkovskiy is back near the danger zone, coordinating efforts in Poland!
“He was compelled to get back there. He is on the border with Poland right now,” Val commented. “We’re building a supply chain as we go. It’s been an incredible thing to see unfold.”
Val explained that Maksim is making sure that “all the packages and these donations actually get into the right hands.”
Expressing how “proud” he is of Maksim, Val said, “I’m proud of his courage.”
Val admitted that Maksim’s wife Peta Murgatroyd is “stressed” with him returning to Europe, but she understands the big picture. He said, “There’s a lot of strength in purpose, and we are so filled with purpose right now.”
The organization has raised over $200,000 on their GoFundMe, with all proceeds going towards the effort.
Aside from working with Val, Maks has also partnered with Bethenny Frankel’s BStrong initiative, which she says will exceed $100 million in aid.
At the iHeartRadio Music Awards, she told “Extra’s” Jenn Lahmers, “We have two warehouses, one is in Poland, one is in Hungary. They are massive Amazon/Costco-size warehouses to distribute aid through Romania, Hungary, Poland throughout the crisis. We have another warehouse within Ukraine… They have no food, no water, no supplies, and they’re under siege, and we are extracting orphans and people from Ukraine... Poland and Hungary. We’re relocating refugees, so it’s a pretty massive effort.”
Sean Penn is another big star who is also aiding Ukrainian refugees flee the war with his CORE organization. He recently said in a TV interview, “We intend to stay the course. This is one of the great heartbreaking moments in most of our lifetimes.”