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New Britain's Little Poland to be recognized as Little Ukraine this month

Local business owners said it is a show of solidarity for the Ukrainian people who shop, live and own businesses in the area.

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — Broad Street in New Britain is lined with Polish-owned businesses. Alongside their country's flag, many have now added the Ukrainian flag, right next to it.

"It's like showing our brotherhood and sisterhood with Ukraine," said Ela Konferowicz, owner, of Belvedere Restaurant & Cafe. "We want to kind of fight this war together."

RELATED: 7-year-old Connecticut girl joins the effort to help Ukrainian children

As a symbol of that, the area known as Little Poland will be recognized as Little Ukraine through March.

"Now it's Little Ukraine, it's the heart of everybody. Everybody is Ukrainian now," said Ostap Dumansky, with Maidan United Inc.

A sunflower, Ukraine's national flower and now an emblem of unity and hope, at the center of the plaque, presented to the Ukrainian community Friday evening.

"That means that you know everybody is coming together. Ukrainians, Polish people, we're all understanding the difficulty that the Ukrainian people are going through," Dumansky said.

That solidarity was on full display at Belvedere Restaurant, where a fundraiser was held to support the non-profit Maidan United's mission to get medical supplies to Ukraine.

"The money actually is pouring in. We hope that the money and medical supplies that people also are bringing. Clothes, everything, they actually will help," Konferowicz said.

The room is full of people doing whatever they can to help. Selling t-shirts, collecting donations, and getting the word out about what is needed.

"If everybody drops a little bit it's how we will make change. It's the only way we can make change," said Kateryna Pushkar, with Maidan United.

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After a very difficult couple of weeks, many shared a feeling that will help keep them going.

"It's giving me hope, a lot of hope because it's what we need right now. We need a lot of support. Not us but the Ukrainian people there," said Pushkar.

RELATED: US flag maker says Ukraine flag sales like nothing he's ever seen for another country

If you would like to make a donation or learn more about how you can help, visit Maidan United's website here.

Gaby Molina is a reporter and anchor at FOX61 News. She can be reached at mmolina@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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