How to help Ukraine

I am frustrated. I want to be on the Kyiv front line reporting the heroic defense of the city. I can’t. I am old and decrepit. But I – and whomever is reading this — can help in other ways. We can send money. We collect money. We can send clothes and supplies to refugees. We can support agencies helping to defend Ukraine and OUR democratic values. We can write to our MPs, Congressmen, Senators, community leaders and social media influencers expressing our opinions and calling on them to both prepare and act.

So to start with here is a selection of organisations helping Ukraine. There are others which you may already be aware of or have yet to be created. Please tell me of any by emailing me at [email protected] I will endeavour to dispatch regular updates.

United Help Ukraine is probably the biggest umbrella organisation for Ukrainian charities. It launched a fundraiser last month, saying it is working with other emergency response to “prepare humanitarian aid to civilians in anticipation of a Russian invasion.”

Razom for Ukraine was set up in 2014 to raise money for various projects in Ukraine. As the Russian invasion loomed they established an emergency response unit to purchase critical medical supplies and amplify the voice of Ukrainians on the world stage.

Voices of Children was established in 2015 to help children of Eastern Ukraine cope with the traumas of war. As the conflict spreads so does its work.

Sunflower of Peace has launched a fundraiser to prepare first aid medical backpacks for paramedics and doctors on the front lines.

Revived Soldiers of Ukraine is a non-profit organization focused on medical aid and rehabilitation for Ukrainian soldiers.

It is feared that up to five million Ukrainians will end up in refugee camps in Moldova, Poland and Bulgaria. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees is the world’s most experienced agency at dealing with displaced persons.

The International Red Cross is the oldest humanitarian organisation in the world. There is also a branch in Ukraine. It will be my charity of choice.

UNICEF has been working for several years in Eastern Ukraine supporting health, nutrition, HIV prevention, education, safe drinking water, sanitation and protection for children and families caught in the conflict. It is expanding its activities elsewhere in the country.

Collection tins — old-fashioned but effective and has the added bonus of raising the profile and creating a feel good factor. Some of the charities above, especially the older more established ones will have a large store of collection tins that they will be more than happy to send you. Knock on doors or stand on street corners and rattle away. Place some in local shops, football games, schools, railway stations, churches…. In my case, I am a local scout leader and am thinking of recruiting a team of young collectors.

Write to your MP, congressman, senator, state senator, local councillor, MEP. Even if it is just a one-liner to say that their constituent supports the Ukrainian battle for democracy and self-determination against a Russian dictator. It all helps. Don’t dismiss local politicians. Our governments have a bottom up pyramid structure which means that the national politicians require the help and support of their local colleagues much more than in autocratic countries such as Russia.

Most important of all: forward this blog to everyone on your email list and urge them to do the same. This article is appearing on Liberal Democrat Voice and on my Linkedinpage. There will be a link to both on my twitter page. My handle is at the beginning of this article. If you have a twitter account please retweet my tweet with the link to my article. Follow me for future information.

This article/blog is designed to throw a rolling stone which will hopefully produce an avalanche of much-needed aid.

* Tom Arms is foreign editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and the author of “The Encyclopedia of the Cold War” and the recently published “America Made in Britain” that has sold out in the US after six weeks but is still available in the UK.

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4 Comments

  • Lorenzo Cherin 28th Feb '22 - 12:44pm

    This is as usual, exactly as expected from the author. Tom Arms you are a credit to the Liberal Democrats and Liberal Democrat Voice.

    As an individual member of this party , to myself, and fellow party members, you always seem like a voice of intelligence and reason.

    As creator of The Arts and Humanity’s Cause, and member, writer, coordinator, at The Ustinov Prejudice Awareness Forum, I am grateful to friends and colleagues such as you, for your reporting and promoting liberal values and humanitarianism!

    Do not be frustrated over your role. Only frustration at the inhumanity of those who seek to do harm, like the Putin ilk!

  • Thank you Lorenzo. Very kind.

  • Very helpful, thanks Tom. I shared your frustrations and now feel a little more empowered. I’m a retired doctor, 67 to be precise. I heard they wanted doctors to travel to Ukraine. My first thought: ‘that’s me, I can help. I can put up drips’. Then I realised I would probably be more of a hindrance than I help, being rusty in my skills, unable to speak Ukrainian or Russian and, though fit and healthy, probably not very crisp. Now I can donate to Sunflower of Peace.

  • Suzanne Fletcher 1st Mar '22 - 9:41am

    Thank you Tom Arms for an excellent as well as useful piece here.
    I will certainly share around. Practical and principled.
    There are a lot of postings around with flags in solidarity, sunflowers to show support, and that is the easy bit (for those bright enough to know how to put on their profile!). “Clap for carers” seemed good at the time, but seems hollow now.
    Can I add one more action though. In addition to donations or encouraging others to do so.
    Our Government is not (yet) prepared to give sanctuary to those fleeing Ukraine. It should and must at least start by allowing those with family and friends here in the UK to come into our country to seek sanctuary here.
    Please put pressure on MPs to press for that. Also to stop the dreadful “Nationality and Borders Bill”, that would stop family reunions for those fleeing other conflicts not in the headlines.
    And surely the point has now been made that if you are fleeing you don’t have time to apply for and collect a visa so you can get entry to the UK, otherwise you are deemed “illegal” under that new Bill.

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