NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) –The Knights of Columbus announced Friday that they will commit $1 million for immediate distribution to support Ukrainian refugees following a Russian invasion this past week.

The assistance will also go toward Ukrainian Knights and their families impacted by the recent Russian invasion of their country.

The organization also said they have launched the Ukraine Solidarity Fund, an international fundraising campaign among its members that will match all funds raised up to an additional $500,000.

In a message to Knights around the world, Supreme Knight Patrick Kelly encouraged the organization’s more than 2 million members to respond with continued prayers and material support. They have set a goal of $2 million in aid.

“The situation in Ukraine is dire and worsening. The people of Ukraine and our brother Knights in that nation need our help,” the supreme knight wrote.

The relief funding will be used to provide shelter, food, medical supplies, clothing and religious goods, as well as other humanitarian needs as identified, both directly in Ukraine and through refugee sites in Poland.

The Knights will work with both the Latin and Greek Catholic Churches in Ukraine, with dioceses and K of C councils in Poland, and with international humanitarian aid agencies to address needs quickly and effectively.

Should fundraising efforts exceed immediate needs, consideration will be given to assist widows and orphans of brother Knights killed as a result of military action, and for assistance in resettlement and rebuilding for communities displaced by conflict and war.

Supreme Knight Kelly’s video message to the more than 1,800 Knights of Columbus in Ukraine can be viewed here.

For additional information about the Knights of Columbus Ukraine Solidarity Fund and how to donate, click here.