(The Center Square) – Groups from all over the U.S. are answering the call to help Ukrainians after Russia invaded in February. While Americans have given generously, there’s still a great need, the humanitarian groups say.
From the West Coast to the East, and everywhere in between, humanitarian aid groups and volunteers are working to help more than 3.6 million Ukrainian refugees who’ve poured into neighboring countries. More than 10 million Ukrainians are displaced.
California-based Kidsave is rescuing children and families in Ukraine and providing humanitarian aid. Its “Angels of Hope” risk their lives on a daily basis in the most dangerous areas near the Black Sea, the organization says. As of March 23, they’ve rescued 5,224 orphans and families and shepherded them to safety. The organization also provides a range of adoption services and has been in Ukraine prior to the war.
Connecticut-based Americares is delivering medicine and medical supplies, supporting health services and providing mental health and other types of support for refugees and survivors. Nearly four tons of medicine and relief supplies have been delivered, or are on the way to Ukraine; three tons of essential medicine and medical supplies arrived March 18; 1,700 pounds of medicine and supplies are in transit to a local partner, the group states. It plans to send additional shipments and is finalizing its first procurement of first aid kits, PPE, OB kits, and OB supplies to be distributed among three local partners soon.
Florida-based Global Empowerment Mission has been on the ground in Medyka, Poland, since the second day of the Ukraine crisis. Its helped relocate 50,000 families, organized $10 million worth of supplies in transit, 100,000 hygiene kits in transit, and delivered $170,000 worth of medical supplies and 158 tons of Goya food. Its committed $85 million in aid and provided $550,000 worth of medical supplies in transit.
Georgia-based Care is seeking to help 4 million people, primarily vulnerable women-headed households and the elderly. Its priority is to meet the immediate needs of affected families through the distribution of critical food and water supplies, as well as hygiene kits, cash assistance and psychosocial support.
Georgia-based Send Relief, a ministry of the Southern Baptist International Missions Board and North American Missions Board, is working with local Baptist partners and churches in Ukraine, Poland and 12 other nearby nations. It’s currently serving over 383,000 displaced people in Eastern Europe.
Iowa-based Mercy Care is on the ground in Ukraine, Romania, and Poland, providing funding to local organizations meeting urgent humanitarian needs. It’s also planning to provide emergency cash assistance and connect people to access basic services, and information about safe routes and their legal rights. It helped over 200,000 Ukrainians with emergency cash, food, water and sanitation supplies in 2014.
North Carolina-based Samaritan’s Purse has been providing a range of services. It’s orchestrated five airlifts so far. The fifth brought more than 19 tons of relief, including medical supplies for area hospitals. Its volunteer doctors and nurses have seen more than 1,000 patients since the organization’s involvement.
It’s opened up Medical Stabilization Points, the most recent of which is in a bus station in Lviv. Its teams continue to see an influx of patients at its clinics set up in a Lviv train station, an Emergency Field Hospital on the outskirts of Lviv, and at an Emergency Outpatient Clinic in southern Ukraine.
New York-based Afya Foundation is working in partnership with US-Ukraine-Foundation and others to support the Ukrainian medical community and refugees seeking aid. It’s been preparing wound care, surgical equipment, and biomedical equipment to be shipped. It’s partnering with several groups to collect supplies and coordinate shipments, including the National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry and Greater New York Hospital Association.
New York-based Jewish Joint Distribution Committee is providing a range of services, including executing and coordinating evacuations, providing food, shelter and other urgent support, operating emergency hotlines and working with other organizations to provide emergency services.
New York-based Razom, which means “together” in Ukrainian, has raised $20 million so far to deliver tactical medicine items, hospital supplies, and tech enabled emergency response supplies. On average, it sends more than 70 pallets of aid to Ukraine weekly. It’s partnering with Kryla Nadiyi (Wings of Hope), Euromaidan-Warszava, and Ukrainian Education Platform, among others.
Razom formed after the “‘Revolution of Dignity in 2014’ when millions of people worked together and risked their lives to build a pathway to a better future for Ukraine,” it states. “Soon after, in an effort to stifle and punish Ukraine’s progress, Russia invaded and annexed Crimea and began a war in Eastern Ukraine that it continues to fund and sustain today.”
Numerous groups in Texas are providing relief.
Virginia-based United Way Worldwide is providing immediate needs like transportation, accommodation, food, medicine, childcare supplies like infant formula and diapers, and hygiene kits, as well as longer-term needs of those fleeing the conflict. It’s working with local vetted, nonpartisan organizations that on the ground, including United Way Romania, United Way Hungary, and Fundacja Dobrych Inicjatyw (Good Initiatives Foundation) in Poland, among others.
Washington, D.C.-based World Central Kitchen is feeding refugees arriving in Poland, Romania, Moldova, Hungary and Spain. It’s organized a vast network of chefs and volunteers to provide nearly 200,000 hot, nourishing meals a day. It’s also making daily food product deliveries into Ukraine.
“What began as four women making 500 sandwiches a day has now turned into a full-scale operation of 10,000 sandwiches – as well as 16,000 hot meals – being prepped every day at WCK’s FEST kitchen in Lviv, Ukraine,” it states. “The team has been cooking since the war started and continues to do so, even through consistent air raid sirens that force them to shelter for safety multiple times a day.”
Washington, D.C.-based Global Giving has raised nearly $20 million to provide shelter, food, and clean water for refugees, health and psychosocial support, and access to education and economic assistance, among other services.
Other groups offering medical support and medical relief include Heart to Heart International, World Vision, Project C.U.R.E., MAP International, Direct Relief, Project HOPE, Operation USA, among others.
Groups providing water, hygiene and other supplies include Catholic Relief Services, World Hope International, Convoy of Hope, Operation Blessing International, among others.
Groups providing emergency housing include Islamic Relief USA, American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, Catholic Relief Services, among others.