Sewickley-based Esmark Makes Second Donation to Help Ukrainian Refugees in Slovakia

Sewickley Herald, Tribune-Review | Thursday, April 14, 2022

Esmark Inc. chairman and CEO James P. Bouchard and his long-time friend Martina Roda have made a second donation of $25,000 to aid and support Ukrainians seeking refuge in Košice, Slovakia. This is the Sewickley-based company’s second donation to City of Košice to aid Ukrainians fleeing to Slovakia.

As of April 5, more than 302,700 Ukrainian refugees have entered Slovakia, according to a verified operational data portal.

According to a news release, the company’s donations to the relief efforts now total $50,000. In March, Esmark announced an initial donation of $25,000 and — in an effort to mobilize others to help — offered to match donations up to an additional $25,000. To date, Esmark was directly notified of nearly $11,000 in donations made by Americans to support Ukrainian refugees.

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.

The recent donations were made on behalf of the former U.S. Steel American and Slovak Commercial teams.

“While we are proud and grateful for the nearly $11,000 in donations made by Esmark friends, we couldn’t wait another moment to provide additional monetary support to the city Košice,” Bouchard said. “We are working directly with the mayor’s office, which ensures our funds are delivered immediately, enabling them to take swift action and help these refugees with humanitarian support.”

The funds from the initial donation were used to:

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

“The initial $25,000 from Jim and Martina enabled us to mobilize and organize more quickly,” said Košice City Mayor Ing. Jaroslav Polaček. “We are very grateful for the additional $25,000 of support, which we will focus mainly on providing transportation, accommodation and food, especially for families with young children.”

“We cannot stand by as we hear the first-hand accounts from our friends on the ground in Slovakia and continue to watch these events unfold on the news,” Roda said. “We commend the mayor, volunteers and all people of Košice who are providing much-needed humanitarian support to their Ukrainian neighbors.”