Return of unclaimed stocks will aid Bloomingdale church's Ukraine relief work
St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Church's efforts to help people in war-torn Ukraine got a major boost Wednesday when state Treasurer Michael Frerichs announced his office was returning more than $43,000 of unclaimed stock to the Bloomingdale church.
"Like millions of Americans and people throughout the world, I was offended and I was disgusted by this unlawful and unjust invasion of Ukraine by this brutal dictator (Russian President Vladimir Putin)," Frerichs said during a news conference at the church.
So he had his staff search its unclaimed-property records, using the words "Ukraine" and "Ukrainian" plus common Ukrainian surnames. It found 220 shares of Qualcomm stock, plus dividends, in a compliance audit of an investment bank. The stock had gone unclaimed since 2018. It was valued at $43,523.
Neither Frerichs nor church member Jaroslav Sydorenko of Hoffman Estates knew how the church came to own the stock or how it ended up as unclaimed property.
Unclaimed property, also known as I-Cash, refers to money or financial accounts in which there has been no activity for several years. It includes forgotten bank accounts, unpaid life insurance benefits, the contents of safe-deposit boxes and other items. The state treasurer oversees the unclaimed property.
"Obviously, we were very happy about it," Sydorenko said.
The church has been raising money for several orphanages and other aid organizations. One effort is the weekly sale of pierogi, cabbage rolls and kolachky from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays at the church at 300 W. Army Trail Road.
"I can attest how good they are," said Frerichs, who bought three dozen pierogi last Saturday.
Frerichs encouraged people to check the I-Cash website at icash.illinoistreasurer.gov to see if they have any unclaimed property. Even if they previously thought it wasn't worthwhile to file a claim, maybe Wednesday's news will inspire them to do so and donate the proceeds to charity, including Ukrainian relief, Frerichs said.
"I'm just asking everyone to dig a little deeper," he said.