Here’s How You Can Help Ukrainians Right Now
Amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many people in the U.S. are wondering how to help. Navigating the various channels asking for assistance during a refugee crisis can be overwhelming, but there are a variety of ways to lend a hand. And certainly, that assistance is needed: As of March 7, 1.7 million people have fled Ukraine, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency. Sadly, it’s likely that millions more will be uprooted in the coming days. If you’re looking for ideas of how to help Ukrainian refugees, here are a few possibilities to consider:
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The major humanitarian organizations around the world are working at rapid speed to help Ukraine. Some examples: Doctors Without Borders is mobilizing to set up emergency response activities in Ukraine, Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia, Russia, and Belarus, while Save the Children has a Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund. UNICEF has an emergency response to provided lifesaving support for children in the country, and the Red Cross is in neighboring countries to assist displaced people by doing everything from pitching tents to distributing water and food. You can also donate directly to the Ukrainian Red Cross. Our sister site Kitchn has rounded up some additional food-based organizations, as well.
Of course, there are a variety of smaller organizations that are more specialized, but it may take more leg work to verify legitimacy. There are scams out there every time a crisis unfolds, so do your best to vet where your money is going.
You don’t have to strictly donate to mega-organizations with significant governmental backing in order to help refugees. Across the world, there are smaller organizations that are putting in the work in to assist Ukraine. Browse online for organizations in your area that cater to people from Ukraine, like a church or a local chapter of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America. Chances are, they’re organizing some sort of humanitarian aid or fundraising for the country, and they can point you in the right direction.
Check your local news outlets, Facebook groups, and neighborhood listservs: some good samaritans and local organizations just might be collecting things like medical supplies, baby items, and other nonperishable goods to send to Poland for refugees.
Help with housing
Airbnb is offering temporary housing to up to 100,000 Ukrainians, and waiving guest and host fees. You can also offer a place to stay, make a donation for emergency stays, or book an experience in Ukraine to provide the host with funds, even though you have no intention of going. Organizations like Alight and UNICEF have teams in Poland helping with refugees’ immediate needs.
Shop on Etsy
There are a variety of artisans in Ukraine who sell their wares on Etsy. However, they obviously cannot ship orders right now. That’s why many people are purchasing items like digital patterns or gift certificates, with the goal of getting the money to the artisans so they can financially support themselves during the war. Here is one list of Ukrainian-owned online shops to buy from.
Another bonus: Etsy, along with their sibling sites Depop and Reverb, recently announced they were canceling the current balances owed to them by all sellers in Ukraine. There are also several Etsy sellers that donate their proceeds to charity, no matter their location.
Social media is a great way to amplify resources. But do your best to share information that’s trustworthy. There’s a lot of misinformation out there about the conflict in Ukraine, and fake videos and photos are plentiful on the internet. Be sure to verify the accuracy of the information you’re ingesting and sharing.