ABOUT PROVIDING SUPPORT

What’s happening in Ukraine is a threat to the entire world. I am not comfortable watching it happen without taking some action. People’s freedom, homes, and lives are being taken away. We consume news and politics as if it exists in the theory of our ideas and opinions, but there is a very real effect on very real people. What’s more, what happens in Ukraine will impact the rest of the world. Not just economically, it threatens our well-being and way of living. It is time to stop hating one another and start helping one another. 

Initially I booked reservations with a few AirBnB hosts in Kiev to provide immediate financial support. Through conversations with those hosts I discovered a few national funds that will support the Ukrainian people and military. AirBnB has gotten a lot of bookings and there are questions about fraud and authenticity, so I would encourage you to speak with hosts and vet them well. I’ve also resolved other ways to contribute, and you can choose the platform that makes you most comfortable. Below, I outline the ways I’ve discovered to provide support. 

I’ve connected with grassroots warriors on the front lines who provide support personally by supplying food, clothes, and other resources to the people who are most impacted. I’ve also found formal, nationally-sponsored organizations. Obviously good-faith support like this relies on the character of the sender, the conduit, and the recipient, and there’s a chance of fraud. But if the alternative is to do nothing, then I am willing to be defrauded of a few bucks. I would suggest diversifying your contributions among the various ways listed below as a buffer for something like that.

In my conversations, it is clear that the Ukrainian people are the truest kind of patriot. Everyone I have spoken with has mentioned that they want to take nothing from their government or their neighbors. They want to care for one another and provide support to their military to protect the country they love. I’ve encountered no greed or self-interest. In fact, quite the opposite.

We can not neglect to take action out of fear of failure or fraud. Help me help Ukrainians.

MICHAEL COLEMAN  |  Chicago, IL  |  e: michael@michaelcoleman.net  |  text: 6468838616  |  insta: @profersional

SUPPORT UKRAINIANS DIRECTLY

I’ve been added to group chats and private messages with Ukrainian citizens who have not been able to evacuate (or chose to stay) and are putting their lives in harm’s way to provide volunteer support to their communities. These people need immediate funding for food, supplies, and other care. I am including some bios and insights below.

I am collecting these funds via Venmo (@mcoleman80) and will distribute 100% of the funds I collect among these incredible people via the payment structure we have resolved using Wise.com.

Alexander Kucher, 25, is living in his 22 year old girlfriend’s parents’ home in Kiev. Her parents were fortunate enough to evacuate. His friend is living in a subway station nearby and they are helping each other. I’ve seen videos of his home where he lives in the basement to avoid windows because of explosions; he is protected by blankets and pillows to buffer him from anything that explodes into his house.

Alexander has posted this plea for support and I ran it through Google Translate so you can read it in English. Alexander is keeping a Google Sheet that tracks the use of every dollar he receives. This is not a 401(c)3 or a formal charity – this is just a good-faith collection of money to pass directly to people who need it immediately and urgently!!

Misha Dacent’s life is dedicated to his community in Kharkiev. His charity, Dreamtown, started after the war in 2014 and was supported by USAID. Dreamtown used art and color to promote the advancement of democracy in Ukraine.

Color dimmed when war broke out in March so Misha and his charity immediately shifted their focus. They are putting everything they have into supporting their community.

Misha is sharing his story with the world and asking for support. Visit his Facebook page, Dreamtown’s Facebook page, and the Facebook page for his current charity initiatives to learn more.

If you want to support Misha, you can contact him directly or Venmo me directly at @mcoleman80 and I will collect and send all funds.

Alexander Kucher lives in Kyiv. He has made a home in the kitchen of his girlfriend’s parents’ house, which they were able to leave early in the war. It’s the only place far enough away from windows that he and his girlfriend can be safe in the case that a bomb hits close to their home. 

The attacks on Kyiv are getting more intense every day, and Alexander’s life is standing still while his country is under attack. Yet he is still dedicating all of his time, heart, and energy to helping other people who have become victims of the war. 

He travels to other cities to collect food and supplies for Ukrainians who have lost their homes, livelihoods, and loved ones. I’m supporting

WAYS TO SUPPORT

The hosts I messaged with also encouraged me to make contributions via the National Bank.

This page may appear in Russian, but your browser can translate it to English. It’s a simple credit card form, or you can pay via Google Pay

Hosts have recommended that support is also helpful via the “Back Alive” fund which also supports both the Ukrainian military forces. It’s a fund that was established during the 2014 wartime.

I’m not a religious person, but Don Shire is and he’s doing amazing things in Poland with his ministry to support refugees from Ukraine. 100% of this money will go to Ukrainians or Ukrainian refugees. One of the recipients is a church in Poland near the border that is housing refugees. Another recipient is in Ukraine and is buying and delivering supplies to victims in the country.

Don is from the same town as me. He’s older than me and we didn’t grow up together, but our families overlapped in church groups and organizations. 

  • To donate, click this link and visit Don Shire Ministries’ websdite.
  • Select the amount you’d like to donate and whether or not it’s a recurring donation.
  • In the “Where would you like your donation used?” dropdown, select Refugee Relief 
  • In your donation, denote that the donation is for Ukrainian Refugee Relief.

AirBnB hosts are often individuals sharing their space with travelers. Booking a reservation, even though we will not be staying in their homes, puts money directly into the pockets of Ukrainian hosts. I will feature a listing on my personal Instagram (@profersional) story every day, in case you don’t have time to search but want to support.

Listings are changing quicker than I can keep up with them, so it might be best to start a new search for each donation. I use the following guardrails:

  1. Visit AirBnB.com and search for a Ukrainian city. I’ve been supporting particularly war torn areas like Kiev, but support is needed in every area affected by war. This map is helpful.
  2. DO NOT BOOK IN TOWNS IN WESTERN UKRAINE. Those units are needed by citizens fleeing from areas where there is war, and they can not book the units if they have been “fake booked”
  3. You can send your full contribution to one host or split it up by making smaller reservations with multiple hosts in multiple cities.
  4. Hosts are paid on the day of a guest’s arrival. Search for asap availability so the funds are available sooner, although projected support will obviously also be helpful.
  5. Look at the host’s profile to see how many listings they have. I assume hosts with just one or two listings rely on the money more than hosts with dozens of units.
  6. Pay in full for your reservation and message the host to let them know why you are booking and that you won’t actually be staying.

You can make purchases from Etsy that support sellers from Ukraine. Many shops have closed, but some are still open and are selling “digital files” that you can purchase to provide financial support. I’ll post one fo these on my Instagram (@profersional) story every day as well, in case you don’t want to search. Otherwise, here’s how you do it:

    1. Visit etsy.com
    2. In the search field, look for “digital files”
    3. When you’re presented with results, click the “All Filters” button at the top of the search results
    4. Scroll down to the “Shop Location” field and search for Ukraine
    5. Find a seller who you want to support and make a purchase. I suggest spreading your total budget over a few sellers.
    6. When you’ve made your purchase, send the seller a note that you are not expecting the product and wanted to send financial support.

If you’ve got feedback/thought/ideas or just want to make yourself known, here’s the place!