The situation in Ukraine is horrifying, sad and unbelievable. Although we are a continent away and certainly hope that this conflict ends soon, the people of Ukraine need help more than ever. If you are wondering what you can do to help the Ukrainian people, we have some suggestions as well as some things to avoid doing.
Reconsider Doing These Things
Social media is great for many things. However, fundraising on these platforms is not always what it seems. If you see an ad or a friend shares a post about how to help the Ukrainian people, do not just click and donate out of guilt. Check out what they are supporting and go to the source. All reputable charities have mission statements and are registered 501(c)(3) companies. Do your research and consider donating directly.
Early on in the conflict, many people rented Airbnb’s with no intention of staying there. Although this was a fast way to get money into the hands of real people, it only helped a select few. If you regularly utilize the Airbnb network, they have a charitable foundation that provides housing to those fleeing. Consider donating there instead.
Perhaps the worst way to give is by accepting a phone call from an organization and donating on the spot. Many of these “charities” donate only a very small percentage to the cause they are working to fund. Before you donate, do your research. Check out the organization, its history, and whether it truly is a non-profit set to help the Ukrainian people.
Although many people have contacted us (as a family law firm) about adopting a child from Ukraine, that is not currently an option. Although there will likely be orphans as a result of this war, now is not the time. Not only does the country not have the ability to facilitate adoptions, but a child’s status as an orphan with no family ties must be fully verified. Again, something that is highly difficult with families scattered across eastern Europe.
Ways to Help Ukrainians
Most of us in Florida looking to help do so through donations. Here are a few steps to take to make sure you are donating to an organization who truly has the contacts, infrastructure and ability to get your donations to the people in need of help.
- Verify the organization’s standing in the international community. Make sure they are on the ground in Ukraine, Poland, or other eastern European countries where the refugees are fleeing.
- Think outside the most common organizations (like Red Cross and UNICEF). Although they are reputable and are helping, organizations like Doctors Without Boarders and International Medical Corps do important work. They need support and are less frequently considered.
- Try to avoid putting stipulations on your donation. Many people will need help for years after the conflict ends.
- Contact your Congressmen and urge them to keep supporting Ukraine and the refugees. Click here to find your Senators. Click here to find your House Representatives.
- Reach out to your local Ukrainian Orthodox Church and see if they have refugees resettling locally and what you can do to help. The closest one to our office is St. Michael Parish in Pinellas Park.
This is certainly not something any of us expected to see, yet, it has taken countless lives. We can all continue to hope that this ends soon and that nothing like this ever happens again.