Sunday July 03 2022 01:32:00 am
Many of us are eager to help those who found themselves in a dire situation because of the war. Donating money to a large, reputable charity is always an option, but compared to billions of dollars of government aid and the vast scale of needs and challenges people are facing, a small individual donation may seem like a drop in the bucket.
However, there are outstanding enthusiasts and teams of volunteers on the ground who could benefit substantially from small donations. They are not as well-known or easy to find and, most importantly, it is unclear which of them can be trusted. Here, we share information about individuals and teams we know personally and can vouch for their authenticity and honesty. Unlike large charities, they spend donations strictly on the goal, with zero office overhead, no administrative personnel, no advertisement and no PR campaigns.
These are the stories of people who are, undoubtedly, modern heroes. They, and the people they help, need our support right at this moment. Any donation, even a few dollars, will have a big impact.
1. “Renovate” is a small team of volunteers based in Kyiv. They deliver humanitarian aid, restore damaged buildings, and help local farmers. Julia Vernyhorova, a paleontologist and the group’s volunteer, is confident that now is not the time to dream about normal life, but a time to recreate it despite all the difficulties. “We will help with anything you need. We will help your grandmother board a train and will look for your lost dog with you. And we won’t let you feel desperate – if you do, we’ll give you chocolate.” Donate
2. While humanitarian aid for victims of the war is important, only the army can end this war and permanently stop the suffering of civilians. Svitlana Pchelovska heads a small group of volunteers collecting donations for the 13th regiment of the 95th air assault brigade where their husbands, brothers and college friends are fighting. As we write this, the regiment is involved in heavy fighting near Slavyansk. Svitlana’s team already raised enough money to buy a vehicle to transport severely wounded from the battlefield. Now she is raising funds to source critically needed Motorola DP4400EE radios for the fighters. Donate via a wire transfer or PayPal
3. Elena Tsigurova, her husband and friends are raising money to buy medications for a hospital in Kharkiv and for territorial defense in Kyiv. This is not a formal enterprise. The requested medications are purchased in Germany and transported to Ukraine via a chain of volunteers. Marcin, a driver and one of the key nodes in the chain, says: “This war has changed me completely. It’s weird, the reason is so horrible, but… I started to believe in people again. This is going to be my tenth trip to Ukraine, and throughout this time, I’ve met so many amazing people in Germany, Poland, Ukraine. I’ve seen how many people are helping each other. It’s as if I’ve seen my own family in a new light, I’ve become more open… Before, I never would’ve been able to talk to you so easily. Now I’m thinking, when the war is over I’ll invite all these people I work with at the border to my place, so that they could rest. I can see how exhausted they are…” Donate
4. A group of volunteers “Dopomoga.Kharkiv” supports people since the first day of war. They started from sharing useful information through text messages, and then organized humanitarian aid delivery for Kharkiv residents. Volunteers bring water, food, medicines, personal care products, and pet food to elderly, sick, and disabled people, single mothers – those, who cannot get to the pharmacy or grocery store by themselves. “We know where to find scarce medicine, medical equipment, and baby food. We also know where to get comfortable shoes and enough toilet paper for 40 people living in a bomb shelter for the past two months. We provide necessary supplies to the Emergency Unit of Kharkiv City Clinical Hospital and Kharkiv Regional Hospital. Our fearless drivers and cyclists take numerous daily trips across the city and surroundings, under shelling, to reach everyone who needs help.” Donate via a wire transfer or PayPal
5. “Rubikus” is a team of volunteers helping Ukrainian refugees, including those deported to Russia, who would like to return to Ukraine, find a temporary refuge in Europe, or settle in Europe permanently. Ekaterina Tretjakova, a children’s magazine editor and Rubikus volunteer, writes: “Fat cat sponsors like to fund big items, like hostels or buses, and of course request detailed reporting. Small items, like 5 kilos of buckwheat, are of no interest to them. Three times a week, our hostel receives 49 people we bring in with our own bus, and about 15 more come on their own, most of them hungry and with no money. 50 Euros would really save the day. We’d buy tea, milk, grains, pasta, and maybe some apples for the children.” Donate here. Rubikus is also looking for coordinators to help their volunteers on the ground. You may be located anywhere in the world and help remotely.
We welcome your questions, comments and suggestions.