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Crisis in Ukraine: How to Help

Today, March 23rd, is Red Cross Giving Day 2022. Around the world, the organization’s distinctive red cross has come to symbolize aid and hope during times of disaster. Established over 100 years ago, the Red Cross is an impartial, independent, neutral organization whose mission is to alleviate human suffering. Given the current Russia-Ukraine conflict, we have received a number of queries from patrons wondering how they can help the millions of Ukrainians affected by violence and displaced from their homes. In light of Giving Day, we have put together a list of charities who have established emergency fundraisers for those in crisis.

Before donating to any organization, there are a number of independent watchdog sites, such as Charity Navigator and Charity Watch, which allow you to research the charity’s financial health, transparency, and core values. Please keep in mind that legitimate charities will not ask for gift card donations nor demand personal details like a social security number from you, and use caution when giving out financial information over the phone or on the Internet. The safest method to donate is using a credit card over a secure website.

The following 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofits are highly rated on Charity Navigator:

Americares – Organization with over 40 years of experience providing medicine, medical supplies and relief care, including mental health and psychosocial support services, to regions in crisis. Americares has deployed an emergency response team to Poland to address the escalating humanitarian crisis.   

Global Giving – Global Giving has provided humanitarian assistance to areas of crisis since 2004. To ensure your donations are being used properly, they fully vet all of their local ground partners who provide direct support to displaced communities. The Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund is being used to provide food, shelter, water, health support, and education and economic assistance to refugees.

International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) – The ICRC, established in 1863, is an international, independent, and neutral organization whose mission is to protect and help victims of armed conflict and other violence. Working with its Red Cross and Red Crescent partners, they are addressing the urgent humanitarian needs of the people of Ukraine by improving the safety of living conditions, providing access to clean drinking water, baby products, hygiene kits, and health care, and reconnecting families who have been separated by the crisis.

Save the Children – Founded in 1919, their primary belief is that every child in the world has the right to health care, education, and a safe environment. The organization’s Children’s Emergency Fund helps provide children and families impacted by the Russia-Ukraine conflict with food, water, hygiene kits and cash assistance.

Unicef USA – Supporting advocacy, education, protection and equality for the world’s children. Their work in the Ukraine is focused on meeting the most critical needs of healthcare, nutrition, and safe drinking water.

Additional 3-4 star charities engaged in providing relief aid and emergency assistance in Ukraine and surrounding areas (list compiled by Charity Navigator).

There are also a number of local organizations providing aid to Ukraine:

Consulate General of Ukraine in Chicago – State hotline established for those wanting to provide humanitarian assistance or support the Ukrainian military.

Jewish United Fund – Chicago-based charity whose mission is to address local and global needs of Jews every day and to provide humanitarian aid during times of crisis. They have partnered with a number of local relief organizations, Chicago-area Jewish congregations, and partners on the ground overseas, to provide community-powered philanthropy to the 200,000 members of Ukraine’s Jewish community.

Midwest Food Bank, NFP – Non-denominational, faith-based organization headquartered in central Illinois whose mission is to alleviate worldwide hunger and malnutrition without discrimination. They are working to provide 240,000 servings of Tender Mercies, shelf-stable nutritional meal kits, to Ukrainian refugees.

St. Joseph the Betrothed Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church – This congregation, located in Chicago, has started a collection to help provide medical care to wounded Ukrainian soldiers and also support chaplains serving in battle zones.

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