After being swamped by the generosity of the public, many charities are saying they now need volunteers to help sort the mountains of items. Image: Vanessa Furey
The star-studded Concert for Ukraine raised millions in donations for the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), which is working to provide relief for 4 million refugees who have been displaced since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.
It’s one of many fundraising initiatives that have been set up to raise awareness and money to help the people of Ukraine. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, some 10 million people are thought to have fled their homes since the crisis began – 4 million who fled to other countries, and an estimated 6.5 million who are displaced within Ukraine.
Charities that are still seeking physical donations, are requesting items including; batteries, torches, new or in very good condition thermal clothing, hats and gloves, antiseptic, nappies, wound dressings, sanitary products, sleeping bags and bedding.
After being overwhelmed by the generosity of people, many groups, such as the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in Manchester, are seeking volunteers to sort through the piles of donations, as well as people prepared to drive the goods across Europe to the Polish/Ukraine border.
Aid charities do not accept or handle donations of physical items, and the British Red Cross has told people it does not want donated goods as they “can slow down (their) response”.
The British Red Cross has advised that if people have things they want to donate, they should take them to a charity that is linked with partner organisations in Ukraine.
And people who want to donate items should always check what is needed, and if the organisation is able to transport them.
With available lorries filling up with donations to be taken to people who have fled their homes, these are some other ways you can show your support.
Here are some of the other ways you can donate to Ukraine
Donate financially to an experienced charity working on the ground in Ukraine
The DEC, which has launched an emergency appeal to help Ukrainian civilians, is made up of 15 agencies including the British Red Cross, Oxfam and Save the Children, and works with local partners in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries to help provide food, water, shelter and medical assistance.
The UK Government has said it will match pound-for-pound up to £20 million donated by the public to this appeal. Donate here.
Support Ukrainian and local journalists
Developments on the ground are being covered by English-language news outlets including the Kyiv Independent and the New Voice of Ukraine. The Kyiv Independent says it was created by journalists in order to defend editorial independence.
President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy has implored people across the world to support Ukraine by sharing current events with “everyone”. This is a list on twitter of local journalists in Ukraine who are sharing what is happening in the country.
A group of UK lawyers are offering free immigration advice to Ukrainian citizens attempting to seek sanctuary in Britain. Set up following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the “Ukrainian Advice Project” says it will offer pro-bono immigration support to any Ukrainian citizen fleeing their home country.
The qualified lawyers running the project are now asking for more volunteer lawyers to come forward and help their efforts.
Charities working on the group in Ukraine are the closest to the people that need help and will likely be some of the best informed on how to use donations for the greatest impact.
Sunflower of Peace is a charity that helps paramedics and doctors, and has been fundraising for supplies, which includes first aid medical tactical backpacks.
Voices of Children has been helping children affected by the war in eastern Ukraine since 2015. The organisation provides support to children and families through art therapy, psychologists, video storytelling and a number of other methods.
Donate cryptocurrency to Black and Asian students students leaving Ukraine
Black and Asian students are trying to leave the country alongside millions of others, however it has been reported that they have faced horrendous racism at the border.
The Ukraine government has acknowledged the racist abuse, with the country’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba, saying “Africans seeking evacuation are our friends and need to have equal opportunities to return to their home countries safely.”
Africans Leaving Ukraine has been established to give crypto wallets and cryptocurrency to these students, as cash is hard to come by. You can donate using Revolut, CashApp or cryptolink.
When the conflict broke out, “Stand with Ukraine” protests demonstrating support for Ukraine and calling for increased sanctions against Russia erupted across the continent – and they haven’t slowed down.
On March 26, tens of thousands of protesters gathered in London’s Trafalgar Square in a demonstration organised by Sadiq Khan. More protests are planned in the capital this coming weekend (April 2 – April 3).
If you can’t attend mass gatherings, there are other ways to raise awareness. One way is through social media (although it’s important to be wary of spreading misinformation by only sharing news from credible sources).