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Hoosiers continue to support Ukraine 7 weeks into conflict

Dr. Chris Brandenberg
Posted at 11:54 PM, Apr 20, 2022

INDIANAPOLIS — More than seven weeks into the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Hoosiers are still helping however they can.

Ruth-Anne Herber owns Crackers Comedy Club in downtown Indianapolis. On Thursday night she's holding a special show and silent auction to support the people of Ukraine.

"President Zelenskyy started as a comedian, so it's a good tie-in, and a great idea to have a fundraiser at a comedy club, in my opinion," Herber said.

Tickets cost $30 and can be bought in advance or at the door. A silent auction will start at 7 p.m., and the show kicks off at 8 p.m. Mark Klein is headlining. Every dollar of admission and the silent auction will go directly to Last Bell, an organization that assists Ukrainian orphans.

"Is it perfect? No. Is it beautiful? Yes. Will it be funny? Absolutely. Is it legit? Heck yes. So come out and have a good time," Herber said.

Herber isn't the only Hoosier working to make a difference overseas. Dr. Chris Brandenberg just got back from a hands-on mission as an emergency physician with Samaritan's Purse.

"I would just say that all the stuff you see on television that just seems so sad with how horrible it is, it's all real," Brandenberg said.

Brandenberg spent 24 days treating the sick and the wounded. He said many traveled hundreds of miles for days or weeks to find a doctor. Some were sick and had no medicines. Others were shot by Russian soldiers.

"At one point in time, I was the only emergency room doctor there, so I was working all day and available all night," he said.

It was Brandenberg's first time in a war zone.

"We had air raid sirens going off all the time, but missiles hit three times," he said.

Two days ago, the city where he was staying, Lviv, was bombed. He said the missiles came within feet of where he had worked.

"I think coming back here, and knowing that I have friends over there that have missiles landing feet away from them, it's strange. It's very surreal," Brandenberg said.

Despite the danger, Brandenberg said that if he gets another call, he'll go back.

"My heart really, really yearns to help the refugees," he said.