Ukrainian refugee fundraiser planned at Kwahadi Museum, Roosters Coffee

Ukrainian refugee fundraiser planned at Kwahadi Museum, Roosters Coffee

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The Kwahadi Dancers and Kwahadi Museum of the American Indian, in partnership with Roosters Coffee and Tea Co., are working together to raise funds to support individuals fleeing the war in Ukraine in Poland.

The fundraising event will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Kwahadi Museum, located at 9151 I-40 East in Amarillo. Later at 2 p.m., the Kwahadi show will begin, where the Kwahadi dancers will perform for the museum attendees and host activities for families and children to enjoy. Admission, the show and all activities are free for the public to enjoy, but donations are encouraged.

“We’re excited. The kids are excited to dance. We heard about Karolina’s story and her family, and we wanted to help,” said Charles Ritchie, director of the Kwahadi Museum.

All funds raised will be given to the families being helped by the relatives of Karolina Exposito, a native of Poland, who is a co-owner along with her husband of Roosters Coffee and Tea Co., located at 3440 Bell St. #110.

“I am from Poland; my family is in Poland. My friends are in Poland, but Ukraine is just a train ride away. And seeing what is happening, I feel for those families,” Exposito said. 

The coffee shop co-owner said that as soon as the war began, her family and friends in Poland began taking in those fleeing Ukraine due to the war.

Last month, the couple raised more than $2,000 in tips and donations to give to the three families living with Exposito’s cousin in Poland and help cover living expenses. According to the owner, she will travel to her home country in late April and began collecting tips to help the refugees that her family members had taken in. After having raised more than $1,000 and community members began sharing the couple’s goal, Exposito was approached by the Kwahadi Museum, who volunteered to host a charity event to raise donations.

“I understand that some people might prefer going through a big company to donate, but I see the way that my family and friends are helping these refugees with my own eyes,” Exposito said. “I want to help, because I think about how that could be me. I think about how I was to have been born in Poland and now living in America, but that could have easily been me and I would want others to help.”

All funds raised at the charity event will go to Exposito, which she will pass on to her family to help cover living expenses and purchase new undergarments, socks, shoes, food, water and scooters for the children.

“It’s getting warmer out, and we wanted to give the children something small to forget about what they are going though. We want to give them something small to put a smile on their face,” Exposito said.


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