RIGA, LATVIA. 24th February 2022. Editorial Credit: Gints Ivuskans/Shutterstock.com
Russia launched a full scale invasion of Ukraine recently, displacing over 650,000 civilians who fled to the border. Neighboring countries have welcomed them with open arms, but the logistics of helping that many people at once have been challenging for local authorities.
Declining necessities, ranging from medical supplies to basic food provisions, have made it challenging for people to leave Ukraine to avoid the war.
Despite the challenges, the world has come together with a massive outpouring of support for Ukrainians. Here are just a few of the many inspiring acts of kindness happening right now.
A Journalist Opens a Merchandise Store
Ukrainian-Canadian journalist Christian Borys launched Saint Javelin through Shopify. The available inventory is all based on Ukrainian designs. The site's goal is to raise money to send funds to the orphans of deceased war veterans.
“I put our Shopify store up in like 30 minutes,” Borys said, “and the next day I woke up to a thousand orders. I printed 100 stickers and thought I’d just give $500 and be done.”
Over $650,000 has been generated since the storefront opened. The entire collection is found here: https://www.saintjavelin.com/collections/all.
A Chef Feeds the Hungry
Chef José Andrés is active at the Ukrainian border with Poland, feeding the refugees that are currently fleeing the war. His nonprofit agency, World Central Kitchen, uses the $100 million that came with the Bezos Award to stop hunger from being a global problem.
A Company Offers Free Housing
Airbnb announced in late February that it would offer free temporary housing for up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees fleeing the country. The cost of the stays will be covered by hosts offering free or discounted accommodation, donors to Airbnb’s refugee fund, and the company itself. []
“We know that hosts on Airbnb and guests around the world will be eager to stand up and assist this massive effort,” Airbnb announced in its press release.
The home rental platform plans to partner with resettlement agencies as part of this process to ensure everyone has the chance to find a new home while waiting to return to Ukraine.
A Cryptocurrency Exchange Donates Millions
Binance, which is currently the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is donating $10 million to help with any humanitarian efforts that benefit the people of Ukraine.
“We’re blocking accounts of those on the sanctions list if they have Binance accounts and ensuring that all sanctions are met in full,” said a representative for the company.
Anonymous donors have already committed over $13 million to the Ukrainian war effort, providing a funding alternative to payments and crowdfunding companies.
Not only has Binance sent generous donations to Ukraine but other crypto companies have now also followed suit.
Strangers Helping Children Cross the Border
Soon after the Russian invasion began, Ukraine mandated that men between the ages of 18-60 stay in the country to fight. When Nataliya Ableyeva met a 38-year-old Ukrainian father with two young children in her hometown of Kamianets-Podilskyi, she knew that she needed to do something.
The father entrusted Ableyeva with his children. In return, she helped them cross the border into Hungary. “He simply handed over the two kids to me, and trusted me, giving me their passports to bring them over,” she said.
Their mother was in Italy at the time of the invasion. The father gave Ableyeva her phone number so that they could reunite. A video of the family and two women meeting for the first time went viral as both hugged and wept over their circumstances. []
Watch this touching reunion on Twitter here
What You Can Do to Help the People of Ukraine
Flying to the Ukrainian border isn’t feasible for the average person, but there are still steps that can be taken to help those impacted by this war.
The first step is to stay informed about the conflict. Lots of disinformation is available online, so it is crucial always to verify sources.
Donating money to a trustworthy organization is a direct form of help. Organizations like UNHCR, UNICEF, the Red Cross / Red Crescent, and Doctors Without Borders are a few of many that offer immediate support.
[] https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/dining/a39265623/chef-jose-andres-refugees-ukraine-2022/ ; [] https://www.washingtonpost.com/food/2022/03/01/jose-andres-delivers-flour-ukraine/ ; [] https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/feb/28/airbnb-to-offer-free-housing-to-100000-ukrainian-refugees ; [] https://www.reuters.com/technology/crypto-exchange-binance-says-it-wont-unilaterally-freeze-accounts-russia-2022-02-28/ ;[] https://indianexpress.com/article/trending/trending-globally/russia-ukraine-war-woman-helps-children-cross-border-viral-video-7793336/