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'You guys supported us greatly': Denver7 Gives donations have great impact on Ukraine freedom fighters

Aiden Sinclair with those fighting for freedom in Ukraine
Posted at 7:16 PM, Jan 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-06 22:51:36-05

ESTES PARK, Colo. — We reconnected with Aiden Sinclair in his "office," if you can call it that.

Below The Post restaurant at the Stanley Hotel, down a flight of stairs carpeted to intentionally evoke the movie "The Shining," sits The Underground at the Stanley Hotel. It's dimly lit, with faux candles atop each table and shelf. Knick-knacks and relics of different ghost stories from across the world adorn the walls.

"Our theater is one part theater, and one part paranormal museum of oddities and haunted and historic artifacts," Sinclair described. "It allows Colorado folks to really see high-quality magic in a really special space."

While many magicians visit The Underground, Sinclair is its "resident apparitionist and illusionist," performing show after show to guests of the Stanley and northern Colorado locals. He feels at home on the stage, but he's spent much of the last year away from this home.

Sinclair has made three treks to war-torn parts of Ukraine since Russia's invasion nearly a year ago, each time with as many bags as he could carry full of medical supplies, body armor, and clothing to give to people in need there. His most recent trip in November hit a personal record of 22 bags full of supplies, including many pairs of thermal underwear provided through donations to the Denver7 Gives fund.

"You guys supported us greatly with that," Sinclair said of the Denver7 viewers. "The thermal underwear you guys provided is keeping people warm in their homes, where they have no heat. That's an amazing thing."

Americans struggle to truly understand just how much the people of Ukraine appreciate our support, and just how much it matters that we don't give up on them, Sinclair said. They are far from giving up on their own country.

"'These are young men that are fighting, between 16 and 25 to 26 years old," Sinclair said, recalling one young man he encountered named Leonidas who had been shot in the stomach on the battlefield a month prior. "He was so happy to get a set of body armor, so that that wouldn't happen to him again... he could not wait to get back to fight for his own country."

The support for Sinclair's mission has only continued to grow, with donations both big and small — so much so, he and his fiancé are creating an official nonprofit, The Ukrainian Aid Society of Colorado. Its creation is a message to their new friends in Ukraine, and to the rest of the world, that they'll keep going as long as the Ukrainians do.

"It has been through the goodness and kindness of people in Colorado that there are people alive today that would not have been. And that's better than any money. That's better than any return," Sinclair said. "It almost brings you to tears. It's so humbling."

Sinclair is currently finalizing the details for his fourth trip to Ukraine right now, and expects to go within the next few weeks. Among the supplies he will be taking are extra thermal underwear, thanks again to your donations to Denver7 Gives.

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