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How to Help Ukraine (Because That’s Yoga, Too)

If you've been wanting to do something but nothing feels like enough, here's where to start.

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If you’re like us, you desperately want to know how to help the people of Ukraine in some significant way—preferably in a manner that mirrors the compassion behind the now-iconic image of strollers left by Polish mothers at a train station for exhausted Ukrainian refugees. With more than two million Ukrainians fleeing to neighboring countries, nearly two million more displaced within their own country, and others living amid staggering levels of destruction and devastation, there is the need for untold assistance.

And while good vibes, meditation, and chants or prayers for peace are beautiful, they’re simply not enough. The quickest, easiest, and most effective way to help Ukrainians right now is by donating money to reputable organizations who are on the ground and experienced at wartime relief. But with countless organizations providing support, it can be difficult to know where to start.

Here is a short (and incomplete) list of how to help.

How to directly help Ukrainians

Few of us are in a situation to personally help, like those Polish moms with the strollers. But there are a few ways to volunteer your time and space. Volunteers for Ukraine is seeking organizers to assist in a variety of ways. In need are U.S. attorneys, travel agents and booking specialists, campaign and social media managers, and more.

Another way to directly support Ukrainians is through Airbnb. The vacation rental company has waived all fees for people to book Ukrainian homes, allowing 100 percent of the billed amount to go directly to homeowners. A representative from Airbnb told NPR on March 5 these bookings had already grossed nearly $2 million. Additionally, Airbnb is looking for volunteers to host 100,000 Ukranian refugees for a short time. No room to spare? You can also make a financial donation to support this program.

Which charities are active in Ukraine

If you’re seeking to make a more traditional charitable donation, there are hundreds of organizations collecting for Ukraine relief. The following are Ukrainian, American, and international organizations that provide on-the-ground support. This is a short and incomplete list. If you’ve heard of another organization and would like to verify its authenticity, check with, the Better Business Bureau site, for accredited charities.

Note: Inquire if your employer will match employee donations.

Doctors Without Borders has situated medical teams in Ukraine and neighboring countries and is in need of donations to continually provide necessary medical supplies.

World Central Kitchens, founded by famed restaurateur José Andres, has provided emergency food relief in the aftermath of natural and other disasters worldwide since 2010. World Central Kitchens is on-site in Southern Poland, where it’s been providing hot meals at 24-7 border crossings since the last week of February. It’s also partnered with many restaurants throughout Ukraine to provide nourishment to those in need.

Voices of Children helps families overcome the trauma of armed conflict, evacuation, and the loss of family. A Ukrainian-based charity that specializes in child and youth psychological and psychosocial support, it provides emergency psychological assistance and support during evacuations. The organization specializes in art therapy and psychological counseling and seeks to give kids living through war and conflict their childhood back as it creates the foundation for an unburdened adulthood.

Global Empowerment Mission is working to import food, water, basic necessities, medicine, and medical equipment needed in the war zone, as well as helping to evacuate and relocate civilians into Poland, Hungary, and Romania. Donations fund supplies delivered to Kyiv. The mission is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2011 as a first responder to global disasters.

The American Red Cross has deployed international crisis responders to Poland, Moldova, Hungary, and Romania. The humanitarian relief includes providing first-aid training to civilians located in Ukrainian metro stations and bomb shelters and delivering more than 32 tons of food, blankets, medicine, medical supplies, trauma kits, and household items, as well as helping to relocate families with children, the elderly, or disabled. You can also donate directly to the Ukraine Red Cross.

The United Nations Refugee Agency works to find displaced people a safe place to call home. They have worked in Ukraine since 1994 to protect the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless persons and have responded to the forced displacement of more than 1.6 million civilians in eastern Ukraine. 

The United Nations also has a basic humanitarian fund for each region they support in crisis. The Ukraine Humanitarian Fund is a single pool of unearmarked money that is managed locally as needs arise. Funds are directly and immediately made available to a wide range of partner organizations at the front lines of response, so funding reaches the people most in need when they need it.

Razom, a Ukrainian–American organization, brings together volunteer organizations from the U.S., Europe, and Ukraine to provide an open Emergency Response project. Razom has purchased medical supplies for the front lines and hospitals, as well as created a network of volunteer doctors across the U.S. and Europe who train doctors and medical staff.

The Humanitarian Coalition is a group of 12 leading aid organizations—including World Vision, Oxfam, CARE, Islamic Relief, and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank—that provides a simple and effective way to help during international humanitarian disasters. The majority of their efforts go toward emergency supplies, clean water, child safety, and medical care.