What now?

Photo by Mathias P.R. Reding on Pexels.com

Only time will tell what will happen in the Ukraine, but right now the people of Ukraine are suffering. Already Ukrainian soldiers and civilians have been killed and parents are preparing for the worst, sending their children to school with blood type identification stickers in case of bombings.

While most of us feel helpless when faced with a situation like this, there are ways you can help the citizens of Ukraine right now.

Ukrainians have put together a list of organizations where foreigners can donate, both to help the Ukrainian army and its private citizens. Those organizations include:

  • Come Back Alive and Army SOS: both will use donated funds to help purchase supplies for the Ukrainian military, including ammunition, shields, and food.
  • Razom for UkraineHelp for UkraineSunflower, these organizations will use donations to fund medical aid for the people of Ukraine, including the purchase of first aid kits, backpacks stuffed with medical supplies, and medical rehabilitation for injured soldiers.
  • The Kyiv Independent: finally, you can help fund English-language journalism in the country by donating to the Kyiv Independent at its Patreon of GoFundMe accounts.
  • Committee to Protect Journalists: CPJ is calling for the protection of journalists in Ukraine following the invasion. Donate here.
  • International Rescue Committee: This group helps families in conflict zones around the world, including in Ukraine. Make an emergency donation here.

There are also some very good organizations such as Care, Doctors Without Borders, International Committee of the Red Cross, Project Hope. Save the Children, founded more than a century ago, is blunt about the grueling nature of its work: “We work in the hardest-to-reach places, where it’s toughest to be a child,” its homepage says. The organization says it is “gravely concerned” for the children of Ukraine and Afghanistan. Its donation page says that $50 can prevent three children from going hungry for a month, $150 can provide warm blankets for 30 children, and $300 can furnish masks to refugee health workers on the front lines. UNICEF is another organization that works to help children wherever they are in need. They are hard at work in the Ukraine. You can access them at (www.unicef.org).

Sunflower of Peace is a small nonprofit with ambitions to help Ukrainian orphans and internally displaced people. A post on its Facebook page in mid-February said it had launched a fundraiser for first-aid medical tactical backpacks. Each backpack, it says, can save up to 10 people. They’re packed with bandages and anti-hemorrhagic medicines, among other critical items. The group has worked mostly off its Facebook page, where it’s accepting donations.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs oversees U.N. Crisis Relief, with donations going toward U.N. efforts to fund work in humanitarian crises. Primary goals include supporting lifesaving activities, filling funding gaps and expanding assistance in hard-to-reach areas, according to its website. You can donate here.

The World Food Programme, the U.N.’s anti-hunger humanitarian organization, has launched emergency relief operations in Ukraine and surrounding border countries. WFP says it is scaling up to provide food assistance to 3.1 million Ukrainians affected by the conflict and has deployed 400 tons of food to the Ukrainian border this week. To support their efforts, click here.

Voices of Children, a charitable foundation based in Ukraine, has been serving the psychological needs of children affected by the war in the country’s east since 2015, according to its website. The group’s psychologists specialize in art therapy and provide general psychosocial support with group classes or individual sessions. Many of its psychologists are based in the regions of Luhansk and Donetsk, areas that have long been controlled by Russian-backed separatists and that are on the front lines of the current, wider conflict. Now, Voices of Children is providing assistance to children and families all over Ukraine, even helping with evacuations. You can donate here.

The Salvation Army, an international movement, has a long-standing presence in Ukraine and neighboring countries. Because they are already part of the communities in which they serve, they are on the ground and ready to respond and serve immediately in times of need such as this.

Lutheran World Federation: (https://www.lutheranworld.org) is also collecting funds and working for the Ukraine people, as is the ADRA, Adventist Relief Organization.( Adra.org) Another religious-run humanitarian organization is Catholic Relief Services (www.crs.org)

Because there are so many organizations listed, I was not able to vet them all. If you are not personally familiar with the organization, I would advise checking them out on a watchdog site like Charity Navigator.

Christians are currently observing the season of Lent. We may wish to make our sacrifices and penances keeping the people of the Ukraine in mind, and donating when and where we can.

Let’s do what we can to help our neighbor. Individually we may only be one person, but collectively we can make a huge difference.

Cindy

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”  Desmond Tutu

 

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