UNITED24 donor builds a new home for 15-year-old Sashko, hero of the Imagine Dragons music video
28.12.2023 · Ambassadors
In the spring of 2022, russian troops completely destroyed the home of Sashko from Novohryhorivka, Mykolaiv Oblast. A meeting with Imagine Dragons' Director of Photography, Ty Arnold, completely changed the boy's life. The band released a music video for their single Crushed, featuring Sashko. The entire world has seen the video, and a UNITED24 platform donor decided to fund the restoration of his house.
Ty met Sashko during his two-month trip to Ukraine. He was delivering humanitarian aid to the village and saw a boy wandering among the destroyed houses. This was a fateful encounter: the boy's story touched Ty, becoming the inspiration for a music video by one of the world's most popular bands. Millions of people across the world saw the realities of life in Ukraine during the war.
"In June 2022, Imagine Dragons became ambassadors for the UNITED24 fundraising platform. Since then, they have been supporting all of our fundraisers and projects under the Rebuild Ukraine program. We did not expect, however, that the band would dedicate a music video to Ukraine. This is a real gift, because through music, we can talk about the war to millions of people worldwide. It is hard to overestimate the impact of this video on Sashko's life. After it was released, thousands of people wanted to help him: there were numerous words of support and offers to buy an apartment in a Ukrainian city. But Sashko refused to leave Novohryhorivka, so UNITED24's regular partner, the Aurora multimarket chain, decided to donate funds for the restoration of the destroyed home. We're happy to confirm that last week, Ty Arnold personally handed over the keys to this wonderful, spacious and gorgeous house to Sashko and his mother" -Yaroslava Gres, UNITED24 Coordinator.
There was not a single surviving wall left in the destroyed building, as well as no electricity, so the rubble had to be cleared. The builders then laid a new foundation and built a bigger and more reliable house. They also added a terrace which Sashko's mother had always dreamed of, and built a bomb shelter nearby. The construction was completed in just six months.
"One of Aurora's core values sounds like this: give voluntarily. When we learned Sashko's story, we instantly knew we wanted to restore his house. This decision was made by the entire team, because reconstruction and home comfort are something we hold dear. The project design was developed by Yana Dvornikova; all standards of construction and energy efficiency have been taken into account. We want this story to show Ukrainians that even during war, one cannot lose hope. Miracles are possible. It is symbolic that the construction was completed before St. Nicholas Day, because this holiday is about miracles and the victory of good over evil" -Lev Zhydenko, Co-Founder of Aurora.
In August 2023, UNITED24 organized Sasko's first trip abroad. He attended the Imagine Dragons concert in Warsaw. In December, he saw the musicians again via a personal video message:
"Hey, Sasha! It's Imagine Dragons. We are so incredibly proud of you. You have inspired us, you’ve inspired thousands of people across the globe. Thank you to all the incredible donors who made this happen. And above all, Sasha, welcome home.”
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