As Ukraine valiantly fights off a terrifying and unjustified Russian invasion, some 1.5 million of its citizens have been forced to flee in search of safety. More than 38.5 million have stayed behind — many of them to fight for their country — and a growing number are now without water, power and food.
Some are working in their bath tubs — the safest place in their homes — while others are sheltering underground as the cities around them are bombarded by Russian missiles and turned into ruble. It is a crisis, the likes of which Europe didn’t think it would have to endure again after World War II.
Ukrainians need all the help they can get. If you want to do your bit, you can donate to one of many charities that are now working to support citizens by providing food and water, blankets and clothes, and other essential supplies. Here’s how to get started.
Donate to help Ukraine
One thing the attack on Ukraine has shown us is that the Western world won’t sit back and watch while an innocent nation defends itself against an unprovoked attack. While our governments come together to provide military aid and impose tough sanctions, our people are stepping up to do their bit.
Hundreds of millions of dollars have been raised around the world since the invasion on Ukraine began on February 24. But more is needed to provide its citizens with the support they need to get through this unimaginable situation — which could drag on for months, if not years — as best they can.
You may be tempted to send clothes, toiletries, and other products, and that’s great. But with it becoming increasingly difficult to get goods into Ukraine as the situation worsens, making monetary donations to organizations that are responding to the crisis on the ground is the best way to help.
Which charity should you donate to?
There are many charities that will ensure your cash — no matter how much you can afford to donate — will make a difference to the people of Ukraine. In case you’re not sure where to send your money, here are some ideas.
Help those on the ground
Red Cross is working to provide the people of Ukraine, including those trying to escape the most dangerous areas, with food and hygiene parcels. It is delivering first aid training to those sheltering underground, and providing medical kits and supplies. It is also helping to evacuate those with disabilities.
Unicef is working with its partners to provide children and families in Ukraine with water and medical care. It strives to ensure there is immediate help, including child protection services and psychosocial care for children traumatized by the ongoing crisis, when it’s needed.
Doctors Without Borders is another providing important medical assistance. Care International and its partner, People in Need, are also providing food, water, diapers, sleeping bags, and other essentials to those on the ground who are trying to flee or joining the fight, or just trying to survive.
Tens of thousands of people, most of them mothers and children, are fleeing Ukraine every day in an effort to stay alive as the conflict intensifies. Some charities are focused on helping to provide them with food, shelter, and the legal aid they may need to secure refugee rights. These charities include:
- UN Refugee Agency
- International Rescue Committee
- Polish Humanitarian Action
- Polish Center for International Aid
Help rescue animals
If you would like to help the animals currently stuck in Ukraine, there are a number of charities that could use your cash. PETA Germany has already delivered more than 88,000 pounds of animal food to Ukraine — and helped get hundreds of cats and dogs to safety in Poland.
Viva! Poland is on a similar mission to rescue as many pets as possible, while Ukrainian animal rights organization UAnimals is doing all it can to help those still stuck. Other great animal charities you might want to check out include Network for Animals and International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
There are also a number of Ukrainian zoos and shelters that desperately need support to keep their animals as comfortable as possible, including Kyiv Zoo, Ugolyok Shelter, and Bear Sanctuary Domazhyr.
Shop to support
A number of developers, many of them based in Ukraine themselves, are donating their proceeds to help those in need. The creators of the Unclutter app for Mac are allowing customers to choose what they want to pay for the app — from $10 to $1,000 — with 100% of all revenue going to charities.
Itch.io is hosting an incredible bundle of almost 1,000 games from 773 creators, which you can buy for as little as $10, with all proceeds International Medical Corps and Voices of Children. It has already raised more than $2.8 million, but it hopes to fetch $4 million before the sale ends in just over eight days.
Help the Ukrainian military
You can choose to put your money toward the Ukrainian military. Come Back Alive is one foundation that has been set up to support troops with essential training and medical care, and important equipment like thermal scopes, reconnaissance drones, ammunition, and defense technology.
Alternatively, you can donate directly to the Ukrainian military by bank or card transfer, or by sending cryptocurrency.
Do what you can
Don’t assume Ukraine and its people don’t need your help. It’s heartwarming to see how much support they’re already getting, but they will need more as this conflict continues and they fight for the freedom and sovereignty they deserve. Do what you can to give them the best possible chance.