Meaningful Ways You Can Support Ukraine
On Thursday, February 24, 2022, the world was brought to a standstill as news of the Russian invasion of Ukraine broke. Russian President, Vladimir Putin, launched what he called “a special military operation” from multiple fronts aimed at demilitarizing Ukraine. Since then, Russian troops have seized several territories and are pushing to take over major cities including the capital, Kyiv. Following the attack, Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, called on citizens to defend their nation and urged global leaders to provide defense assistance to Ukraine and help protect its airspace from Russian attacks.
As the invasion of Ukraine continues to unfold, a humanitarian crisis is also unfolding with civilians being forced to flee their homes. According to the UNHCR, half a million people have already crossed into neighboring countries since the start of the conflict, with more than half seeking refuge in Poland. As Ukrainian civilians attempt to flee, they’re met with miles of standstill traffic and severe backups at nearly every border crossing. Officials warn that if the scale of this exodus holds, this will be Europe’s worst humanitarian emergency since 2015 when millions were displaced from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria.
While the world watches, many are grappling with how to help. There are dozens of ways to support those who are directly affected, but the easiest way to take immediate action is through monetary donations to nonprofits that provide humanitarian assistance. To ensure your donation is making an impact, it's crucial to identify vetted organizations. We’ve made it easy for you to help by compiling a list of vetted nonprofits working to provide disaster relief in Ukraine now.
1. Project Hope
Founded in 1958, Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) is dedicated to providing lasting solutions to health problems with the mission of helping people to help themselves. Identifiable to many by the SS HOPE, the world's first peacetime hospital ship, Project HOPE now provides medical training, health education, and conducts humanitarian assistance programs in more than 35 countries.
As conflict intensifies inside Ukraine, Project HOPE is responding by actively shipping medicines and medical supplies to people most impacted by the crisis. They are currently mobilizing their initial humanitarian response by sending two IEHKs (Interagency Health Kits that each contain about 1 ton of medical supplies to support 10,000 people for three months) to Ukraine.
2. United States Fund for UNICEF
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has worked to save children's lives by providing health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief, and more. UNICEF USA supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States.
Executive Director, Catherine M. Russell, shared an overview of UNICEF’s lifesaving work scaling up in Ukraine, including trucking safe water to conflict-affected areas; prepositioning health, hygiene, and emergency education supplies as close as possible to communities near the line of contact; working with municipalities to ensure there is immediate help for children and families in need; providing psychosocial care to children traumatized by the chronic insecurity.
3. International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
The ICRC is an impartial, neutral, and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence and to provide them with assistance. The ICRC also works to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles.
The ICRC is working closely with the Ukrainian Red Cross Society to increase its response to the humanitarian needs in Ukraine. This includes providing emergency assistance such as food, water, and other essential items, supporting hospitals and primary healthcare facilities with medical equipment, and facilitating emergency preparedness. The ICRC also works to repair water stations, support households to rehabilitate their damaged homes, and help reconnect families separated by the conflict.
Right now, they are
- providing 3,000 liters of water to Dokuchaevsk hospital to keep services running, along with 7,000 liters of water to Donetsk municipality for essential services in Donetsk;
- preparing to install five water points of 5,000 liters each for people to collect water in Olenovka;
- looking for means to restore water supply to health facilities and education facilities in Mariupol;
- and linking missing people with their families.
4. Save the Children
The Save the Children Fund, commonly known as Save the Children, was established in the United Kingdom in 1919 to improve the lives of children through better education, health care, and economic opportunities, as well as providing emergency aid in natural disasters, war, and other conflicts.
Save the Children has been operating in Ukraine since 2014, delivering essential humanitarian aid to children and their families. Their Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund will help provide children and families with immediate aid, such as food, water, hygiene kits, psychosocial support, and cash assistance. Together with schools and community centers, Save the Children works to help children overcome the mental and psychological impacts of their experiences of conflict and violence and increase their resilience and ability to cope with stresses in their daily lives.
5. Médecins Sans Frontières
Médecins Sans Frontières, sometimes rendered in English as Doctors Without Borders, is an international humanitarian medical non-governmental organization best known for its projects in conflict zones and in countries affected by endemic diseases.
The situation in Ukraine is evolving fast, and Médecins Sans Frontières is mobilizing an emergency preparedness response to be ready for a variety of potential needs. Their teams in Belarus and Russia stand ready to provide humanitarian assistance if needed. They are also preparing to send teams to other neighboring countries to be ready on standby, either for a response in Ukraine or to provide humanitarian medical assistance to refugees seeking asylum abroad. Their supply centers are currently working on readying medical kits for rapid dispatch as well.
For more nonprofits working to provide disaster relief in Ukraine, click here.
Additional Ways to Show Support
Although monetary donations are a quick, easy way to take immediate action, not everyone has the ability to give back in this manner. Here are some additional ways to show your support for those affected by the conflict in Ukraine.
Since the Russian invasion was announced on Thursday, cities across the US and around the globe have rallied together to show support for Ukraine and to demonstrate against Russian aggression. From New York to Australia, thousands marched in blue and yellow to show their solidarity with Ukraine. Many gathered at Russian embassies and other government buildings to demand their leaders take action and support the fight for Ukrainian independence. In addition to participating in street protests, tens of thousands of individuals have endorsed open letters and signed petitions condemning the invasion.
2. Stay Informed
One simple step, experts say, is to remain informed about the conflict and to be cautious about the information that’s spread on social media. Disinformation can be dangerous and accidentally amplifying it can harm civilians. For up-to-date, accurate information, turn to reputable sources and avoid spreading unconfirmed facts.
If you have Ukrainian family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, etc. check in on them and ask how you can help. A small act of kindness can go a long way during times of crisis.
Be Prepared to Respond
While there are dozens of ways for individuals to show support for Ukraine, corporations also hold the power to make an impact in the lives of those directly affected. Whether it's engaging employees through matching programs or partnering with vetted NPOs, being prepared to respond quickly allows corporations to make a huge impact.
By integrating disaster relief into your CSR strategy, your company will be better equipped to execute scalable and sustainable response initiatives. Here are a few ways to get started:
- Personal Giving: Consider adopting or expanding personal giving programs. Credit card donations can facilitate giving, and the option to remove nonprofit matching gift approvals is available.
- Engage Your Extended Community: Utilize Points of Giving programs to encourage employees, consumers, and community members to connect and participate in your disaster relief programs.
- Partner NPOs: Consider partnering with vetted NPOs and reassess in-kind giving to see if organizations need something different that you can offer.
- Matching Programs: Employ a dollar-for-dollar matching program for employee donations to achieve maximum social impact and help more people affected by the crises.
To activate a multi-faceted Disaster Response Program, contact us now to discuss how you can leverage the CyberGrants platform for a rapid and effective response to crises.