"(God) shall judge between the nations and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore."— (Isaiah 2:4)
Ways to Help Ukraine
The current Russian invasion that started on February 24 follows eight years of conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Hundreds of thousands of people across the country are enduring bombings and assault by Russian military forces; and have lost power, been cut off from water and fuel. As people head toward the western regions, there is a shortage of food and other basic supplies. The reports of displaced persons inside Ukraine continue to rise every day, already in the hundreds of thousands. The UN anticipates that as many as 6.7 million will be displaced internally. Likewise, Ukrainians are fleeing to neighboring countries, primarily to Poland, Hungary, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, while others have moved to other European countries. Again, current estimates from the UN are that the refugee numbers could also reach several million. These borders have remained open until now even as lines are growing.
Partners are raising particular concern for the women and young children who make up the majority of the refugees as many men are now barred from leaving the country. As part of the international humanitarian community, PDA urges that governments and non-governmental organizations provide assistance without discrimination due to concerns for the Roma and people of other nationalities who have also been displaced by the conflict.
In the midst of the chaos, there are sibling churches and ecumenical partners who are already providing assistance with basic items for survival. Initial assistance being provided includes shelter, food, clothing, blankets, baby food and diapers, other hygiene supplies, flashlights and candles, generators and fuel.
Our first priority is to provide funding to these partners on the ground. While the scale of this crisis is new, receiving refugees from Ukraine and other countries in Central and Eastern Europe is not, which means we have trusted, established partners with the knowledge and expertise to carry out this important work. In fact, One Great Hour of Sharing — the single largest way that Presbyterians come together every year to provide hope, help and relief — was started in response to refugees coming out of Europe.
Our response to the situation in Ukraine will include both financial and technical assistance as the network of faith communities providing humanitarian assistance grows in the months ahead.
The needs for the response will be great. God’s people are called on to stand in the "GAP" — Give. Act. Pray.
The Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is our primary way of getting funds to where they are needed most. PDA works with our ecumenical partners who are on the ground and know better than we do where the funds are needed most. While our immediate response is to send funds, we anticipate that PDA will also be assisting our ecumenical partners with technology support as times goes one.
Gifts can be made online, by calling (800) 872-3283, by texting PDAUKR to 41444, or by check made payable to Presbyterian Church U.S.A. with “DR000156-Ukraine” on the memo line. Mail to:
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
P.O. Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700
You can also give through our church, and we will forward the funds on to PDA. Click here and choose your method of giving. If sending in a check, just write “PDA Ukraine” in the memo line.
Other options that have been recommended to us by GlobalCitizen.org:
Ukrainians have put together a list of organizations where you can donate to help people affected by the crisis. Those organizations include:
1. Medical Supplies and Humanitarian Aid
- Nova Ukraine, a Ukraine-based nonprofit, provides citizens with everything from baby food and hygiene products, to clothes and household supplies. Donate here.
- People in Need is providing humanitarian aid to over 200,000 people on the ground. For those most in need, they provide food packages, emergency shelter, safe access to drinking water, hygiene items, and coal for heating. Donate here.
- The Ukrainian Red Cross does loads of humanitarian work, from aiding refugees to training doctors. Donate here.
- International Medical Corps is on the front lines and prepared to help citizens with emergency health care services, as well as mental health and psychosocial support. The agency is also keeping the pandemic top of mind throughout the crisis by priotitizing COVID-19 awareness and prevention services, to help keep displaced citizens safe from the pandemic. Donate here.
- CARE International is responding to the crisis by providing Ukrainians in need with food, hygeine kits, psychosocial support services, access to water, and access to cash. Donate here.
UNICEF Ukraine is repairing schools damaged by the bombings and providing an emergency response to children affected by the conflict. Donate here.
- The Kyiv Independentdescribes itself as “created by journalists who were fired from the Kyiv Post for defending editorial independence.” You can help keep the curtains up for the independent Ukrainian English-language media outlet by donating to its Patreon or GoFundMe fundraiser.
- Ukraine World is an independent English-language multimedia project that emerged from a volunteer initiative helping international journalists during the 2014 “Revolution of Dignity.” Support it by donating to its Patreon.
Of course, for many Ukrainians, the threat of full-scale war is driving them to seek safety in neighboring countries.
In a statement, Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said: “We have already seen reports of casualties and people starting to flee their homes to seek safety.”
Accordingly, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) has stepped up its operations and is working with governments in neighboring countries “calling on them to keep borders open to those seeking safety and protection.” Germany has already offered Poland help with refugees.
You can help support refugees by donating here.
In times like these, LGBTQ+ members are often even more marginalised and exposed to vulnerability than usual. OutRight Action International is stepping up to make sure that they are not left behind and that they are protected in this time of crisis. The organization will be helping to support LGBTQ+ groups and organizations on the ground who are setting up shelters and providing safety for citizens. All donations made to OutRight will go directly to the cause.
You can donate here.
If you are unable to donate, or would like to do more to support LGBTQ+ citizens, the you can also sign up to OutRight’s newsletter here to stay up to date on the crisis and how it is affecting LGBTQ+ Ukrainians.
- The Kyiv Independent
The Kyiv Independent has been a leading voice on the front lines, covering a timeline of ongoing events since the beginning and highlighting those who have been most affected by the violent attack. The English-language outlet is continuously reporting on how the invasion and conflict are impacting citizens, the economy, as well as Ukrainian foreign politics. Keep up to date on its website here, or on the Twitter page here.
- The New Voice of Ukraine
Covering news in three different languages — English, Ukrainian, and Russian — the New Voice of Ukraine has not only covered breaking news, but has released informative analyses on the situation that detail how the situation led to this point, and is continuously publishing op-eds by Ukranian scholars and experts that help to give a view of tone of the situation. Read more on its website here.
- Ukraine World
While Ukraine World is not posting breaking news and timeline updates on its website, it is very active on its social media accounts. Its independent journalists on the front lines have gathered first-hand footage, and it is using its account to share other informative sources that its followers can refer to in order to keep up to date. Follow Ukraine World here.
- Kyiv Post
The Kyiv Post is the only non-independent media outlet on this list, and it is important that those following state-funded outlets are aware that they are affiliated with the state. Having said that, the outlet has been at the forefront of delivering breaking news directly from government and national offices, releasing statements from ministry officials, military leads, and other dignitaries. You can read more on its website here, or follow it on Twitter here.
If your first source for receiving and consuming news is social media, then follow these accounts and turn on your notifications to stay enlightened on breaking stories as well as ways you can help citizens.
- Stand With Ukraine
Uploading concise, yet well-informed Instagram posts and stories, Stand With Ukraine is a community page that has been dedicated to sharing knowledge wrap-ups based on the ongoing situation, as well as ways that followers can support citizens from wherever they are. You can follow it here.
Get updates on the ongoing conflict as they happen from this Instagram account — the English version of a Ukrainian social media-based media outlet — which is sharing brief, yet frequent posts about exactly what is happening on the front lines, and who is being most impacted. Stay informed by following the account here.
- Ukranians in Solidarity
This is an Instagram account that has posted digestible information on how followers can support Ukrainian citizens, and has used the platform to upload messages of solidarity for citizens in the country. Previously the account has been used to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, and taught Ukrainian citizens how to be an ally to people of color. Give it a follow here.
If this is the first you’re hearing about the crisis in Ukraine and you want to learn more about the background to the situation read this Kyiv Post article, “10 popular misconceptions about Ukraine debunked”; watch Netflix’s documentary Winter On Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom; and listen to this podcast by Ukraine World on how Russia uses disinformation as an instrument of war.
If you’re following and keeping up to date with the ongoing situation on the ground, but you’re still wanting to do more and/or you don’t have the financial means to donate, consider joining demonstrators around the world — from London to Tokyo — who have taken to the streets to protest Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Find your nearest demonstration here.