MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WNCT) – A local pastor is helping support refugees in Ukraine. 

This comes after he spent over 25 years living in different parts of the country and its surrounding areas. Now, he’s helping the war-torn country from right here in Eastern North Carolina.  

Rev. Patrick Whaley and his church, First United Methodist Church in Morehead City, have raised over $137,000 to help refugees, all taking shelter in churches and ministries he once helped establish. 

“When’s this gonna stop? What needs to happen? For the world to come together to say enough’s enough,” said Whaley. 

Members of First United Methodist Church in Morehead City (Contributed photo)

Whaley still has close friends that live in both the Ukraine and Russia. He speaks with them daily and they tell him they’re becoming used to the bombings. Whaley lived in both countries from 1990 to 2016. He said what is happening is heartbreaking, but it isn’t the first time.  

“Russia has done this over and over and over again. That’s why the Ukrainian people are so strong, are so resilient, and want to fight back against Russia,” said Whaley. 

And seeing the news about what is going on, is also bringing back memories.  

“The train station that was recently bombed, I was in and out of that train station all the time, all the cities that you hear, I’ve been there, we’ve started churches and ministries and all those different places,” said Whaley. 

Rev. Patrick Whaley (Contributed photo)

First United Methodist Church members decided it was time to support the people of Ukraine. They began collecting monetary donations to send to 24 different churches and ministries in Ukraine and its surrounding countries. 

“It started with their gift. Others in the congregations have added gifts. We’ve had money come from across the country, have friends and neighbors of church members that I’ve heard,” said Whaley. 

The money helps get food and supplies to those taking refuge.  

“I’m just honored to be a part of that to know people in both countries and be able to give love and support and care and to truly make a difference in the lives of people over there right now,” said Whaley. 

If you’re interested in supporting this cause, check out the church’s Facebook here.  They are accepting donations in person as well at their location at 900 Arendell St, Morehead City, NC 28557.