The Zhytomyr Hospital Challenge FAQ


The mission of this campaign is to raise funds to purchase medical equipment for Zhytomyr Hospital in the city of Zhytomyr, Ukraine.

The principals involved are Working Nurse Editor & Publisher Catherine Rhodes and Olena Svetlov, RN, BSN, CNS. Olena is a Ukrainian-born nurse living in Southern California, who is originally from Zhytomyr, Ukraine.


Where is the hospital located?

Zhytomyr is about an hour’s drive west of Kyiv, in northwest Ukraine. Because Ukraine is still at war with Russia and the hospital has repeatedly been a target of Russian attacks, the staff have asked us not to share the hospital’s address or the full names of any of its personnel. However, all of this information as been provided to IFERS, the challenge’s fiscal sponsor, as part of its due diligence.

When does the campaign start and end?

The 3-month fundraising campaign begins Wednesday February 21, 2024, and runs through 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on Friday, May 21, 2024.

Will Working Nurse be handling the donations?

No, Working Nurse does not hold or disburse any donation funds. Raising money for charity in California is highly regulated (as it should be). All donations are handled by the campaign’s fiscal sponsor, the Institute for Education, Research, and Scholarships (IFERS). Contributions go directly into an account managed by IFERS.


What is IFERS?

IFERS (the Institute for Education, Research, and Scholarships) is a California-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity organization, founded by Newton Lee, M.S. The organization conducts scientific and social research, and also acts as a fiscal sponsor for other humanitarian projects. Their federal tax ID is 72-1585854.

IFERS is located at:
811 West 7th St, Suite 1200
Los Angeles, CA 90017, USA

For more information about IFERS, visit their website,

How can I make a donation?

You have several options:

1. Click on the Donate Now button on the Zhytomyr Hospital Challenge page to pay by credit card.

2. Contribute via PayPal  (which is connected directly to the IFERS account).

3. Send a paper check or money order, payable to the “Institute for Education Research and Scholarships” with “Zhytomyr Hospital Challenge” in the subject line, to: Institute for Education, Research, and Scholarships 811 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1700-222, Los Angeles, CA 90017.

4. Wire finds directly to the account. For further instructions, please email .

Are donations tax deductible?

Yes. Your donation to IFERS in support of Zhytomyr Hospital is 100% tax deductible in accordance with the United States tax laws. The federal tax ID is 72-1585854.

When your donation is complete, you will receive a confirmation email from Working Nurse that serves as the official receipt for your tax-deductible donation.

How will any excess donations be used?

Because the amount of equipment we are able purchase will be based directly on the total donations received, all donation funds will be used for that purpose — there won’t be any excess funds.

Will documentation be available of how the donations were spent?

Yes — will publish a summary of how the funds were used and what equipment was purchased.

How will you purchase and deliver the equipment?

In June 2024, Catherine and Olena will travel to Zhytomyr, Ukraine. We will purchase the equipment directly from local medical equipment suppliers and oversee its installation at Zhytomyr Hospital.

The more detailed plan is this: We will fly to Warsaw, Poland, then take an overnight train to Kyiv, Ukraine, where the Zhytomyr police chief (a friend of Olena’s) will drive us to the medical equipment supplier. There, we will meet a team from Zhytomyr Hospital, purchase the equipment, and travel to Zhytomyr to oversee its installation.

How do you know what equipment to buy?

We have been interviewing a team of nurses and doctors at Zhytomyr Hospital to ask what equipment would be most beneficial to their practice. To see what they said, go to the main Zhytomyr Hospital Challenge page.

What if wartime conditions escalate and you are not able to travel to Ukraine in June?

By June, if the war has intensified such that we cannot take a train from Warsaw to Kyiv, that will be a tragedy of enormous magnitude, meaning Kyiv will have fallen to Russian invaders. At that point, we will consider alternate plans for completing this mission, including coordinating with aid groups or NGOs operating in Ukraine. We will keep our donors updated on any changes to our original plan.

Will you document the trip?

Yes. We will document the trip in our blog and social media posts, from the time we arrive in Warsaw until the equipment is installed at Zhytomyr Hospital. A feature story in the September issue of Working Nurse will recap the trip and its outcome.

Why don’t you just wire the money to the hospital?

Ukraine is still struggling to banish the corruption of the post-Soviet era, and in a nation at war, money and resources could be misappropriated. In order to provide maximum oversight, we’ve concluded that we need to purchase the equipment directly from Ukrainian suppliers, and personally oversee its delivery and installation

May I send a message to the team at Zhytomyr Hospital?

Yes! On the donate form, there is a space for comments that appear on this site's Donor Wall. We will compile these messages and present them to the team at Zhytomyr Hospital when we deliver the equipment.