Hollywood raises over $36m for Ukrainian refugees through GoFundMe campaign

Mila Kunis, who was born in Ukraine, and husband Ashton Kutcher launched the campaign in March

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An anonymous donation of $700,000 on Thursday has tipped Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher’s GoFundMe campaign to provide humanitarian aid for Ukrainian refugees over the $36 million mark.

Kunis was born in Chernivtsi, Ukraine, and came to the US with her family in 1991.

The couple partnered with Flexport.org to organise shipments of relief supplies to refugee sites in Poland, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Moldova. They have also be working with Airbnb, to which Kutcher was an early investor, to provide free, short-term housing to refugees and made an updated video explaining how the funds are being spent.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in March contacted the pair over social media to thank them for the millions in aid for his war-torn country.

The beleaguered president tweeted a picture of himself talking to the American actors, thanking them for their support with the words: “Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis were among the first to respond to our grief.”

He added: “Grateful for their support. Impressed by their determination. They inspire the world. #StandWithUkraine.”

After exceeding their goal last month of $30m by more than $5m, the husband and wife team and co-stars of That ‘70s Show thanked contributors in a video.

“We hit our goal!” Kunis said in the video.

“Over 65,000 of you donated. We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the support. And while this is far from a solve to the problem, our collective effort will provide a softer landing for so many people as they forge ahead into their future of uncertainty.”

“As funding continues to come in, we’re going to treat every dollar as if it’s being donated out of our pocket: with respect and honour for the work that went into earning it, with the intent of love through which it was given and the desire for it to be maximised for positive outcome for others,” added Kutcher.

Who gave and how much

To date, more than 68,000 donors have contributed to the cause, including Oracle Corp co-founder Larry Ellison, who donated $5m, and venture capitalist and “godfather of Silicon Valley” Ron Conway, who gave $2.5m.

The Russian-Israeli entrepreneur, venture capitalist and physicist Yuri Milner pledged $2m.

Josh Kushner, brother of Jared and wife/model Karlie Kloss forked over $250,000.

Guy Oseary and Michelle Alves donated $100,000. Mr Oseary is a talent manager and entertainment industry executive, whose clients include Madonna, U2 and Amy Schumer, and is also friends with Kutcher. Schumer ponied up $10,000 herself.

Actress Reese Witherspoon gave $100,000 through her personal charitable foundation.

Gary Vaynerchuk, a Belarusian-American entrepreneur and co-founder of the restaurant reservation software company Resy and Empathy Wines, pledged $49,000.

The Los Angeles Dodger's star pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, gave $25,000.

In their initial video that launched the campaign, Kutcher, who sat by Kunis's side in the video, said the funds would be used to provide refugee and humanitarian aid to Ukrainians affected by the Russian invasion.

“The principle challenge right now is logistics. We need to get housing and we need to get supplies and resources into the area,” said Kutcher.

“And I have never been more proud to be married to a Ukrainian.”

Updated: April 28, 2022, 7:59 PM
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