Hayden Panettiere is stepping up.
The actress has already been outspoken about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — moreso than anything about her own life the past few years. As you probably know, the Scream 4 star shares her 7-year-old daughter Kaya with a native Ukrainian, former heavyweight champion boxer Wladimir Klitschko. Not only that, his brother Vitali Klitschko is the mayor of the country’s capital, Kyiv. With such personal ties to the conflict, Hayden has launched her own relief effort to help citizens affected by the violence.
In an emotional video introducing her new organization Hoplon International, the Nashville alum said:
“There are no words to describe what it’s been like to watch the war on Ukraine unfold. It’s gut-wrenching knowing that the people of Ukraine and people I call my friends and family are desperately trying to defend their way of life and the country that they love.”
“I created Hoplon International to bring relief and aid directly to Ukrainians on the front lines. I can’t continue to sit on the sidelines just watching as this disaster rages on. Please, please don’t sit by idly. Help me by donating any amount that you can. Together, we can make a difference in their fight.”
Hoplon’s mission statement, found on their website, further explained the organization’s aims:
“Hoplons were shields employed by the ancient Greeks. In that spirit, Hoplon International funnels support from the global community to the front lines in Ukraine, where outnumbered, outgunned, and largely civilian forces are struggling to defend their country, their way of life, and their fellow citizens.”
Per the website, donations will “directly and immediately fund life-saving supplies, from body armor to medical kits.” Hoplon purports to have “networks inside Ukraine” that are able to “agilely assess the most critical resources, and to coordinate their distribution.”
Hayden previously assured fans that her daughter is “safe and not in Ukraine,” but another video from the organization revealed that her ex is still in the country. In the brief clip, the athlete said:
“Hi, I’m Wladimir Klitschko from Kyiv, Ukraine. Please support Hoplon International Foundation to stop Russian aggression and end war in Ukraine. Thank you.”
In a previous Instagram post, Hayden condemned Russian president Vladimir Putin, writing in part:
“This horrific moment in history sends a terrifying message: the message that in this day and age, in year 2022, it’s okay to violate the rights of free people and allow autocrats like Putin to take whatever they please. I’m praying for my family and friends there and everyone who’s fighting. I wish you had more support and I wish I was there fighting with you! For now, I ask for those of us who can’t be there to stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with the people of Ukraine and show your support for #democracy.”
Our hearts go out to all those who are personally affected by this crisis and whose loved ones remain in the country. We continue to hope for a speedy and peaceful resolution to the conflict.
[Image via Hoplon International/YouTube]