MOLINE, Ill. — Piles of debris that used to be buildings, hospitals and schools; millions of tearful civilians forced to abandon their homes; and fleets of tanks parading down city streets: These are the devastating images that have gone viral as Russia conducts its deadly military invasion of Ukraine.
Here's how Quad Cities organizations and small businesses are doing their part to support Ukraine during the time of turmoil.
Blue and yellow
After receiving several requests from the public, the cities of Bettendorf and Moline changed the color of the lights on the new I-74 bridge to yellow and blue, the colors of the Ukrainian flag.
Because the lighting won't be fully operational until at least late spring, the cities said they were limited in their abilities to make the two colors show simultaneously, but with the help of vendors, it was finally accomplished on the arches of the Iowa-bound side.
Booze for Ukraine
The pizzeria also launched the sale of "Pizza not Putin" t-shirts at its East 3rd Street location. LoPiez said 50% of t-shirt sales will go to IRC to help displaced Ukrainians.
Inspired by LoPiez's drink donation campaign, the Mississippi River Distilling Company said it would donate $1 from each vodka drink and $3 to the IRC from each bottle of River Pilot Vodka sold March 3-6 at its distillery in Le Claire and match LoPiez's total donation.
At Blue Cat Brewing Co. in Rock Island, $1 per pour of its newly tapped Moscow Jackass wheat ale will go toward supporting Ukrainian refugees. The specialty brew is infused with ginger and lime to mimic the flavors of a Moscow Mule cocktail.
Nerdspeak Brewery in Bettendorf is "nerding out for a cause" with its contributions. The brewery is selling special t-shirts and donating $2 of every pint of coffee stout to Kontaktmission. Since beginning the project in March, Nerdspeak has raised over $1,400.
Anyone interested in donating to Kontakmission can click here or ask a Nerdspeak bartender at the brewery.
The Niabi Zoo & Forest Preserves Foundation voted unanimously to donate a $1,000 matching grant to the Askania Nova Biosphere Reserve.
According to a release from the zoo, the reserve holds the only captive herd of Saiga antelope in the world in addition to over 500 plant species and 3,000 animal species. It's operated by the National Academy of Agrarian Science of Ukraine and located in a heavily targeted and strategic military area.
If you'd like to contribute, make a donation on the Niabi Zoo website and under "apply my donation to," select "Ukraine Fund."
You can can also donate by mail to: Niabi Zoological Park, 13010 Niabi Zoo Road, Coal Valley, IL 61240. Remember to write “Ukraine Fund “on the memo line of your check.
The Bereskin Gallery, in partnership with the Bettendorf Rotary Club, will host a one-night-only fundraising event to benefit Ukrainian refugees. The Ukraine Relief Project will run from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 1.
Artwork from over 80 artists, priced $5 and up, features sunflowers in various mediums, according to a release from the gallery. Money from sales will go directly to the Kyiv Rotary Club through the International Rotary and help supply food and water to refugees.
Have you seen any businesses or organizations in the Quad Cities stepping up to support the people of Ukraine? Tell us about it in the comments of this Facebook post!