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Click the video above to watch WMUR-TV’s November 29, 2022 update on the NH Relief for Ukraine campaign.

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NEW HAMPSHIRE RESIDENTS RAISE MORE THAN $2 MILLION FOR HUMANITARIAN AID TO WAR-TORN UKRAINE

NH RELIEF FOR UKRAINE FUND EXCEEDS GOAL THANKS TO THOUSANDS OF DONORS ACROSS THE GRANITE STATE

NOVEMBER 29, 2022 

ASHLAND, NH  –  As the war rages on in Ukraine, the people of New Hampshire have sent their support and crucial humanitarian aid to Ukrainians via donations to the NH Relief for Ukraine Fund, surpassing the fundraiser’s $1 million goal.

The fund was started in May by Alex Ray, owner of The Common Man hospitality family in New Hampshire, with a commitment to match every donation, dollar-for-dollar, up to $1 million. With The Common Man’s promised match, more than $2 million has been allocated to provide relief to Ukrainian refugees in Poland and those still living in war-ravaged Ukraine.

A committed group of volunteers and others joined Ray in this statewide charitable endeavor, including former New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch, The Common Man family, WMUR-TV, iHeart Media, Granite United Way, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and the Rotary Clubs of Plymouth, NH and Warsaw, Poland.

“We asked the people of New Hampshire for help, and their answer was overwhelming,” said Ray. “Ukrainians are headed into a brutally-cold winter in already uncertain conditions – unreliable power, limited or no heat, and unstable living conditions. Your donations are providing warmth and sustenance. You are saving lives.”

 

In the six months since the fundraiser began, more than 2,500 unique donors contributed more than $1.2 million through the fund’s fiscal agent, Granite United Way. Donations are securely transferred to Polish Rotary District #2331 to ensure the funds go to their intended purposes. The partnership with Polish Rotary was developed through Ray’s membership in the Rotary Club of Plymouth, NH.

 

Ray and members of the NH Relief for Ukraine committee visited Poland and Ukraine in May to assess the immediate needs of Ukrainian refugees and establish project goals for the fund. As donations came in, they were quickly wired to provide timely assistance for food, shelter, and other vital needs. The group returned to Poland and Ukraine in October to check on the progress of the programs that were funded.

 

“We met heroes who were building a network for the delivery of humanitarian aid,” said Susan Mathison, a member of the NH Relief for Ukraine committee and Plymouth, NH resident who joined Ray on both trips. “We saw thousands of people stacked bed-to-bed in refugee centers, orphanages full of children traumatized by their losses, and we met Ukrainians determined to do whatever it takes to help each other to remain, Ukrainian.”

 

To date, the NH Relief for Ukraine fund has assisted in the purchase and delivery of more than 700 tons of food to orphanages and refugee centers throughout Ukraine; funded a trauma counseling center for children; purchased and deployed a Bloodmobile, which supplies field hospitals throughout Ukraine; distributed hundreds of generators; is striving to provide more than 10,000 sleeping bags to give extra warmth this winter; and assisted with repairs and supplies for orphanages and centers for children with disabilities.

 

Ray and members of the fundraising committee are planning another visit to Ukraine in December to participate in a convoy that will deliver supplies, gifts and holiday treats to children living in orphanages across the region.

 

Ray will dress in a traditional “Father Frost” wardrobe to bring some cheer and smiles to children facing such difficult conditions this holiday season.

 

Donations to NH Relief for Ukraine will be accepted until December 31 and can be made online via fiscal agent Granite United Way at www.graniteuw.org or by texting NH4UKRAINE to 41444. Checks made out to Granite United Way with NH Relief for Ukraine in the memo line can be mailed to: Granite United Way, 22 Concord St., Manchester, NH 03101. Information and a donation link can also be found at www.cman4ukraine.org .

 

NH Relief for Ukraine PSA

Click the video above for a message from former NH Governor John Lynch and Common Man owner Alex Ray.

UPDATE
NH RELIEF FOR UKRAINE FUND SURPASSES HALFWAY MARK TO $1 MILLION GOAL!

DONATIONS FROM NH ARE ACTIVELY FUNDING CRITICAL NEEDS OF UKRAINIANS AND YOU CAN HELP! 

AUGUST 29, 2022 

ASHLAND, NH  – With more than $600,000 raised thanks to the generosity of more than 2,200 donors, the New Hampshire Relief for Ukraine Fund has exceeded the halfway mark to a $1 million goal.

The Common Man Family is matching every donation, dollar-for-dollar, up to $1 million, with the ultimate goal of sending $2 million in donations to be allocated to critical humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine and Poland. The funds are distributed by Polish Rotary District #2331 for secure and reliable control that ensures funds go to their intended purposes.

Started in May by The Common Man family of restaurants and their owner Alex Ray, the fundraiser, which hoped to assist Ukrainians living in their war-torn country and those who fled to safety in Poland, morphed into a statewide effort with additional partners including former New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch, WMUR-TV, iHeart Media, Granite United Way, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and the Rotary Clubs of Plymouth, NH and Warsaw, Poland.

The fund has already made it possible for the Rotary Clubs of Poland to purchase and distribute more than 200 tons of food to refugees in Poland and to Ukrainians still living in their home country. Other critical programs the funds are supporting include the purchase of a Bloodmobile to serve as a field hospital in Ukraine, a day care and trauma counseling center for Ukrainian refugee children in Poland, and an orphanage/safe housing for children in Ukraine.

A benefit night held in early August by the New Hampshire Fisher Cats raised more than $10,000 for the fund, with the team donating 50% of individual ticket sales. In addition, 100% of the 50/50 raffle was donated back to the fund, 50% from the Fisher Cats and 50% from the winning ticket holders, Lansing Building Products.

“The war continues to rage in Ukraine and we need your help to keep the important work going to support the people so deeply affected by this crisis,” said Common Man owner and founder Alex Ray. “We are touched by the donations from New Hampshire citizens and businesses that recognize the critical importance of this humanitarian aid.”

A member of the Plymouth, NH Rotary Club, Ray and project leaders spent a week back in May meeting and traveling with Rotarians in Warsaw and Zamosc, Poland. They crossed the border and traveled to Lviv, Ukraine where they met Ukrainian Rotarians as they delivered food supplies to an orphanage and visited refugee centers. The group visited a convention center that was converted into a shelter, a Soviet-era military barracks converted into a refugee center, a proposed children’s day care and trauma counseling center, and a warehouse coordinating emergency food deliveries into eastern Ukraine.

Donations to NH Relief for Ukraine can be made online via the fund’s fiscal agent Granite United Way at www.graniteuw.org or by texting NH4UKRAINE to 41444. Checks made out to Granite United Way with NH Relief for Ukraine in the memo line can be mailed to: Granite United Way, 22 Concord St., Manchester, NH 03101.

Previous Release

NEW HAMPSHIRE’S COMMON MAN FAMILY LEADS STATEWIDE RELIEF FOR UKRAINE PARTNERSHIP,
COMMITS TO MATCH UP TO $1 MILLION IN DONATIONS

FUNDS DONATED WILL SUPPORT CRITICAL PROJECTS IN POLAND AND UKRAINE TO ASSIST REFUGEES WHO HAVE FLED AND RESIDENTS STILL LIVING IN THEIR WAR-TORN COUNTRY

ASHLAND, NH – The Common Man family of restaurants and their owner Alex Ray, along with former Gov. John Lynch, WMUR-TV, iHeart Media, Granite United Way and Rotary International, have joined forces in a statewide partnership to raise money to bring much-needed humanitarian aid and resources to the people of Ukraine. The Common Man family will match every donation made, dollar-for-dollar, up to $1 million. 

Donations will fund a children’s day care and trauma counseling center in Konstancin, Poland; weekly food transport missions into Ukraine, coordinated by a Polish Rotary Club in Warsaw which is distributing food made possible by gifts from all over the world; the purchase of a Bloodmobile to serve areas of Ukraine where hospitals have been destroyed and ambulances serve as field hospitals; renovating and expanding an orphanage/safe housing for children in Ukraine; and providing a District-wide discretionary fund to be managed by Rotary International’s District #2231 in Poland so that they can quickly fund smaller emergency needs such as purchasing teaching materials for refugee center schools and items for refugees like luggage, medical supplies, privacy screens, and other personal needs. 

Ray and a team of volunteers from New Hampshire worked with Rotary International’s Poland District to pinpoint these critical projects during a week-long fact-finding mission to Poland and the Ukraine in May. Ray, a member of the Plymouth, NH Rotary Club, and his team, spent a week meeting and traveling with Rotarians from Rotary Clubs in Warsaw and Zamosc, Poland, and from the Ukraine. The group visited a convention center that was converted into a shelter, a Soviet-era military barracks converted into a refugee center, a proposed children’s day care and trauma counseling center, and a warehouse coordinating emergency food deliveries into eastern Ukraine. The team also crossed the border into Lviv, Ukraine to deliver food supplies to an orphanage and visited other refugee centers there. Ray was able to provide small but immediate assistance on-site for the food program and for the children’s trauma center thanks to early donations made to the relief fund. 

“There is so much underlying trauma,” said Ray. “Everyone wants to go home. Their lives were upended suddenly, families were separated, and they don’t know what’s next for them. There will be a lot of ongoing needs and that’s why we need everyone’s help in this fund-raising effort.” 

During their trip, Ray and his team developed relationships with Rotary’s District Governor in Poland and met with representatives of several Polish Rotary Clubs to establish immediate needs. The Common Man Ukraine Relief Fund will transfer donations directly to Polish Rotary Clubs and District #2231 for secure and reliable control that ensures that funds go to their intended purposes.

Donations to the NH For Ukraine Relief Fund can be made online at www.graniteuw.org or by texting NH4UKRAINE to 41444. Checks made out to Granite United Way with Common Man Ukraine Relief Fund in the memo line can be mailed to: Granite United Way, 22 Concord St., Manchester, NH 03101. 

One hundred percent of donations will be directed to relief efforts in Poland and countries supporting Ukrainian refugees and matched, dollar-for-dollar, totaling $2 million. The Common Man has partnered with Granite United Way as fiscal agent for the fund, providing a convenient way for supporters to make tax-deductible donations online via credit card or by mailing a check.  

“Alex’s trip has inspired many across our community to support this important effort,” said Patrick Tufts, President and CEO of Granite United Way. “We have been humbled by the outpouring of local support for neighbors across the globe, and are proud to partner with the Common Man Family to address these critical needs.” 

Granite United Way is an experienced and trusted organization dedicated to leveraging the resources of investors and volunteers to create lasting change by addressing the underlying causes of our community’s most pressing needs.  United Way’s purpose is to convene public, private, and governmental leaders and resources to tackle the largest, most pressing issues facing our community. Granite United Way fights for the education, health and financial stability of everyone in every community. Each year, 1 in 3 residents of New Hampshire and Windsor County, Vermont engage with Granite United Way as a donor, volunteer or beneficiary of a United Way-funded program. Granite United Way, the merger of 6 local United Ways, mobilizes the power of 22,000 donors and volunteers to provide more than $14 million in support to over 350,000 individuals and provides funding to more than 750 nonprofit programs. Granite United Way is rated a Platinum level participant by GuideStar and holds a Three Star Charity rating by Charity Navigator. Granite United Way serves the Central Region, Greater Seacoast Region, Merrimack County, North Country, Northern Region, Southern Region (Manchester / Derry / Salem) and Upper Valley Regions of New Hampshire as well as Windsor County, Vermont.  For more information, visit www.graniteuw.org.

Founded in 1971, The Common Man family in New Hampshire is made up of 15 restaurants, two Inns, The Lodge, a Spa, Company Store, The Flying Monkey Movie House and Performance Center and The Barn on the Pemi wedding and event center. Locations include Common Man-named restaurants in Lincoln, Ashland, Concord, Claremont, Merrimack and Windham; Common Man Inn & Spa, Foster’s Boiler Room, Italian Farmhouse, The Barn on the Pemi, Tiny Cabins, The Lodge and The Flying Monkey in Plymouth; Common Man Inn & Restaurant in Claremont; Lakehouse Grille, Camp, Lago and Town Docks in Meredith; Route 104 Diner in New Hampton; Tilt’n Diner in Tilton; Airport Diner in Manchester; and the Co. Store in Ashland.  Sister businesses include The Common Man Roadside in Hooksett, Manchester and Plymouth and New Berry’s on the Common in Plymouth. For more information about The Common Man, visit theCman.com, and become a fan on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @thecommonmannh

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Alex Ray and fellow Rotary members in Poland with food that is being paid for by donations from all over the world.

Our Common Man motto is “Outstanding in our Field” and this was a perfect spot in Poland to emulate that in a photo!
Alex and rotarians planning their trip into Ukraine.

Unloading supplies in Poland for Ukrainian relief.

Alex Ray meets the District Governor of the Warsaw, Poland rotary.
Alex Ray meets the District Governor of the Warsaw, Poland rotary.