7 ways to help Ukrainians with food, medicine and shelter as citizens defend against Russian invasion

As governments pile up financial sanctions against Russia as punishment for its invasion of Ukraine, ordinary people are looking for ways to help beleaguered Ukrainians.

More than half a million Ukrainians have fled Ukraine, which has a population of 43.7 million, for neighboring countries since Russian tanks and troops arrived last week, said Filippo Grandi, top – United Nations Commissioner for Refugees, said Monday.

The fighting killed about 102 civilians, including seven children, said Michelle Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, on Monday. It’s probably an undercount, she worried.

News of the invasion sparked a 3,569% increase in charitable donations involved in the Ukrainian humanitarian response through the charity rating website Charity Navigator. Many donors have used the site’s Giving Basket tool, which allows users to donate to multiple charities at once, according to Kevin Scally, relationship manager at Charity Navigator.

The growing human toll makes it especially crucial that donor money goes where it’s needed most — and quickly, said Laurie Styron, executive director of CharityWatch, a nonprofit organization that analyzes the financial statements and tax returns of charities to determine how much money goes to overhead costs and how much goes to the organization’s cause.

Read also: Airbnb will host 100,000 Ukrainian refugees for free

“When people open their hearts and wallets to donate in response to tragic events like the ones happening in Ukraine right now, they want their donations used now, to alleviate suffering now,” she said. told MarketWatch. The organization has compiled his own list of charities who can meet these needs.

Organizations sometimes receive cash during crises and use the funding to build up their cash reserves. Now is not the time for this type of strategy, Styron said.

“The fact is, when people see people in pain, they feel empathy and feel compelled to do something now to help end that suffering now. Charities must honor these intentions,” Styron said.

Here are some organizations that donors can consider for immediate assistance and long-term recovery in Ukraine.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

The United Nations agency focused on helping displaced people around the world has raised about $25 million for Ukrainian refugees through a emergency call , said a spokeswoman. “All funds are being used to support enhanced emergency operations in Ukraine and neighboring countries,” spokeswoman Kathryn Mahoney said.

The agency has 115 employees in Ukraine and another 100 in the region. Blankets, mats, sleeping bags, tents, solar lamps and baby kits are among the relief supplies the agency is sending to Moldova for distribution. The supplies are enough for at least 10,000 Mahoney said.

Grandi, the head of the UN refugee agency, told TWTR on Twitter on Monday,
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it will continue to press for more donor contributions.

save the children

the organization says it is “seriously concerned about children in Ukraine, Afghanistan and around the world who may be caught in the middle of armed conflict, forced to flee their homes and exposed to injury, hunger and sub-zero temperatures” .

Catholic Relief Services

the organization says it is working with partner organizations in Ukraine and neighboring countries to provide shelter, food, hygiene supplies, transport and counselling.

World Central Cuisine

The organization focused on getting food and hot meals to crisis areas around the world is now in Ukraine and neighboring countries. Chef José Andrés, founder of the organization, posted a video from Hrebenne in Poland and talked about food being served hot and cooling quickly in the cold.

Disaster Philanthropy Center

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy donates money to the local community and non-governmental organizations that remain focused on restoring a place from man-made and natural disasters, even as public attention shifts elsewhere.

He has set up a recovery fund for Ukraine that has raised around $300,000 so far, said Patricia McIlreavy, the organization’s president and CEO.

She predicts the number will grow as more donors, large and small, get a better sense of the severity of the conflict and where recovery will be most needed in the weeks, months and years to come.

“It’s sometimes hard to think about recovery when you’re in the middle of the event,” she said.

But the organization always tries to remind everyone, regardless of the type of disaster or conflict, “there will always be a recovery, there must be a recovery and there are things that we can start doing now with a recovery mindset that will help that.” community come back fairly and faster if we can focus on it now.

Consider Donating Crypto

Gifting cryptocurrency has become increasingly popular — in part because it can provide double tax relief — and is especially useful in places or situations where traditional financial systems are inaccessible.

The Ukrainian government has received over $20 million in cryptocurrency donations, from just one count. The crypto donation site The donation block compiled a list of nonprofits working in Ukraine that accept bitcoin BTCUSD and ethereum ETHUSD, and also created an emergency fund that will split donations among multiple nonprofits.

Don’t Forget Employer Matches

An easy way to make your donation go further is to ask your employer to match your charitable donation, a perk offered by many companies. Workplace giving platform Benevity, which manages employee giving for more than 800 companies including Google, Levi’s and Starbucks, has set up pages where donors can quickly find approved groups working with those affected. by the Ukrainian crisis. Due to sanctions and the suspension of currency markets in Ukraine, users will not be able to support any nonprofit organization located in Russia, Belarus or Ukraine, a Benevity spokeswoman noted. Donors can find US-based groups here; UK based bands here; and groups based in Canada here.

“These are organizations that provide food, medicine, shelter and other basic necessities to people on the ground, or help settle refugees outside the country,” Sona said. Khosla, impact manager at Benevity. “While it can be paralyzing trying to figure out which nonprofits to support, we encourage everyone to find a way to support the people who rely on us in this time of desperate need.”

To find out if your company will match your charitable donation, check with your human resources office or corporate social responsibility officer.