Chicago nonprofits that help homeless veterans now aiding Ukrainian refugees

A local nonprofit that helps veterans is turning its attention to Ukraine.

Blue and yellow shirts nudge aside the normal red, white and blue at Rags of Honor on Chicago’s West Side. The image on the shirt was created by one of the veterans who works at the nonprofit that employs and helps homeless vets.

"It was Jimmy who saw an image of a female Ukrainian soldier with a yellow and blue flower in her hair," explained Kim Doyle from Rags of Honor and Veteran Roasters.

Kit and her husband, Mark Doyle, run Rags of Honor. They are now helping Ukraine in two ways. First, the shirts. The Doyle’s niece and nephew will sell them at Lyons Township High School to raise money for Abundance International Orphanages working in Ukraine.

"When Kip reached out to me and said, ‘Do you want to help?’ I said of course I want to help. I want to do the most that I can," said Penny Cornell, a high school freshman.

"I have a responsibility and the opportunity to do something and doing something I’m good at, so I really want to take the initiative to do something helpful for something that means a lot to me," said Owen Cornell, a high school senior.


The second initiative is gathering supplies from diapers to medical equipment. The Doyle's are flying all the donations to Poland, then will work with two special ops vets who asked for help in aiding refugees on the Ukrainian border.

"They decided to put down their arms and pick up the humanitarian side, so I think that’s a story of true dedication and commitment," said Kip Doyle.

"I just think logistically when you have Army veterans who understand how to move convoys, how to move quickly, how to move with dispatch, how to move with a small footprint — it’s very helpful, especially in a chaotic situation which it is at the border of Ukraine right now, as you know," said Mark Doyle, Rags of Honor and Veteran Roasters.

Their goal is to set up a system of funneling more donations to refugees overseas, while getting people here at home to show their support in a shirt with the Ukrainian slogan, "Glory to all on Earth."

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