On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine, marking a steep escalation of the Russo-Ukrainian War, which began in 2014. The invasion has caused Europe’s largest refugee crisis since World War II. According to Reuters, more than 2.6 million Ukrainian civilians—mostly women and children— have fled the country since Russia’s invasion, with 185,000 people arriving in Slovakia seeking refuge.

In Spring of 2022, Chairman & CEO James P. Bouchard and long-time friend Martina Roda made donations totaling $50,000 USD to aid and support Ukrainians seeking refuge in Košice, Slovakia. The donations were made directly to the City of Košice, a city led by Mayor Ing. Jaroslav Polaček, with whom Esmark, Bouchard and Roda have a long-standing relationship.

The funds from the donations were used to:

  • Rent an agency as organizational and technical support in the center for Ukrainian refugees;
  • Provide food provisions for Ukrainian temporarily staying in the refugee stations;
  • Provide provisions and organization of Slovakian volunteers; and
  • Coordinate temporary accommodation and provide provisions to Ukrainian refugees.

In addition, Esmark rallied others to engage and support. Esmark was directly notified of nearly $12,000 USD in additional donations made by employees, customers, vendors, partners and friends.

Bouchard is a former U.S. Steel executive vice president and statutory representative of the Slovak Republic, transforming East Slovakian Ironworks, Košice–now known as U.S. Steel Košice–in Slovakia after U.S. Steel acquired it. Bouchard and Roda’s donation was made on behalf of the former U.S. Steel American and Slovak Commercial teams.

Esmark and Bouchard have a history of and commitment to helping others in need. Over the last 15 years, more than $10 million has been donated to humanitarian relief and children’s charities.

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Mayor's Letter

Mayor’s Letter

Group in Front of Building