Discover more from United Ukraine’s Newsletter - People & Projects You Support
Your Aid to Ukraine's Hardest Hit Areas
United Ukraine's recent efforts in Mariupol, Bucha, and Irpin
Good morning to all our donors and apologies for being late. Normally these updates come out on Sunday evening, and here we are on Tuesday morning. We took a brief operational pause over the weekend to firm up some back-end processes, including revamping our update delivery system. We never stopped working and we anticipate resuming our regular update schedule this week.
Since our Thursday update, United Ukraine has paid out an additional $5,683.86 to individual families and community leaders inside Ukraine - bringing our total amount raised and distributed to over $56,000. That truly impressive amount of money has helped feed, clothe, and house hundreds of families during this war and that is ultimately YOUR accomplishment. Nathan and I work to find the best opportunities to distribute YOUR donations but the actual aid is yours. So from us, to you, truly, thank you. We couldn’t do this without you.
Over the last week we’ve been primarily focusing our efforts on two of Ukraine’s hardest hit areas: (1) the northern suburbs of Kyiv that came under Russian occupation in the first weeks of the war, and (2) the port city of Mariupol in southern Ukraine that has been subjected to the heaviest fighting of the war to date.
Our First Deliveries to Bucha and Irpin
During the Russian army’s attempt to take Kyiv, Russian soldiers occupied full towns north of the capital - terrorizing the locals, looting their homes, and filling ad-hoc mass graves with anyone who resisted. This also meant that local access roads were cut off to these regions for weeks: depriving residents of shipments of food and medicine precisely when they were most needed. Our brave partners have rushed to fill that humanitarian gap as Russian troops withdraw from the region. Their photos of these cities reveal the extent of the destruction to these communities.
Your donations were critical in distributing much needed aid to these regions in the first days the roads reopened. Volunteers in Bucha delivered more than 2,000 pounds of food over the weekend thanks to your support.
And one of our regular partners used her personal vehicle to make drop-offs in residential neighborhoods in Irpin.
No one knows where aid is needed more than the local Ukrainians themselves; and direct financing of these efforts is the most efficient and highest impact way to help citizens. We can do this work precisely because the Ukrainian government has gone to herculean efforts to prevent a total collapse of the country’s financial system during war. That’s part of why we don’t feel what we’re doing is truly “charity.” Ukrainians just want to live their lives with dignity; your donations help Ukrainians help themselves.
The locals on the ground, like you, are our partners. We’re all in this together, that’s the beauty of direct giving.
Mariupol Direct Aid
Two months ago Mariupol was a thriving city with more than half a million people. Now it’s nearly non-existent. For me, this is a personal tragedy that affects people I care about. Nearly five years ago, I started learning Russian with the help of an online tutor: Anastasia. Having a language tutor is ultimately a pretty intimate relationship: you’re allowing another person to actively influence the way you think. I let Anastasia alter the fundamental ways that I interact with the world. She wasn’t just my tutor - she’s my friend. I even went on vacation with Anastasia and her nephew in St. Petersburg, Russia in 2019.
Anastasia moved to Canada two years ago, but her whole family remained in Mariupol. So when the war broke out, she became my primary point of contact to find families who had escaped the city; leaving their entire lives behind in a desperate effort to find safety. She’s been incredible at it. To date, she’s gotten us in contact with more than three dozen families from Mariupol, all of whom you’ve been supporting during the last few weeks. This is Anna’s family, who we got aid to just yesterday.
Anna reached out to write you all a personal note of thanks yesterday.
"Thank you very much for your help. We’re so grateful, we managed to leave Mariupol on March 19, when everything burned down, with small children in our arms. Thank God we are alive and Thank God we now have a place to sleep.”
Ukrainians never asked for any of this. It’s a problem that found them. We’re just trying to help mitigate the consequences.
New Social Media
We have an amazingly talented new team member: Keera! She designed our sleek new logo and is helping us expand our reach by running our new Instagram and Facebook accounts. A few times a week we’ll be sharing photos of families we’re helping and short descriptions of them and their lives. Our biggest strength in connecting your support to Ukrainians in crisis is our ability to communicate with them and regard them as individuals. Keera is helping us honor that mission, and we’re incredibly fortunate to have her working with us.
Our Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/united.ukraine.us/
And our Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/UnitedUkraineUS/
Please follow us and tell your friends about us. The biggest way we can continue these projects is through your word of mouth.
As always, the most direct method you can support United Ukraine is with your finances. Every dollar you donate goes directly to someone in Ukraine - usually within 48 hours. We take it seriously because these are real people who really need help. The best ways to donate are:
Via Debit, Credit, or Paypal: At this link.
Via Venmo: @UnitedUkraine (under the business tab)
As always, thank your for your help and support. You make this happen every week. It’s an honor to be a part of it.