She had blond hair and was sitting in front of a white wall. She talked about how she and her family had been in the Ukraine until March but then left due to the war – but they were planning to return soon.
Another woman spoke of how she and her child were still in the Ukraine. “A lot of people are tired of war,” she said. “We need to support people. We can be more united.”
He had dark hair and smiled continually during the breakout room session. Another American, from Portland, I believe, and I asked him a few questions about the war, as he’s still in the Ukraine. He participated in the American House Kyiv workshop because he wants to see change for the better. He said he sees a Ukraine after the war where great minds come to the country to rebuild it. But he didn’t want to focus on that.
“I think we should talk about change for the good,” he said, “but there’s not a lot of good things right now.”
Sometimes it’s easy for me to forget about the war that’s going on across the ocean, about the lives that have been displaced because of war. I see heightened gas prices and grocery prices, and often that makes me remember, but generally, the Ukrainian war isn’t personally affecting me. But it is for so many others.
It’s ongoing. It’s long. It’s painful. And often it feels so impossible to help.
I – along with about 50 other Americans and Ukrainians – participated in a social change program, a three-week virtual workshop that brought together people scattered around the world to determine how each of us could make a difference in our communities.
One person can’t change the world; but one person can change one piece of the world. Change one part for the better.
I am, at heart, a problem solver. If you have a problem, I want to help find a solution. It’s innate in my personality. I am a Christ follower, so I do pray – but I believe God gave each of us an ability to help physically as well.
For the Ukraine, several options for assistance are available, so I won’t make a list of all – only the ones that I have experience with.
Olya Kudinenko, founder of Tabletochki, a non-profit that helps Ukrainian children receive cancer treatments, is currently in New York with her child during the war. During the workshop, she discussed how the children Tabletochki has helped have been displaced — many of the United States — and how they are looking for individuals in the US who may can assist.
“We do have our employees are in touch with them,” Kudinenko said. “Maybe families will need help on the ground.”
For more information about Tabletochki or how to assist, click HERE.
Another option is Razom for Ukraine, which also offers concrete steps to support Ukraine. We listened to speakers from Razom, who are working to evacuate individuals from the Ukraine, to provide critical humanitarian relief and to advocate for support.
My last suggestion would be World Central Kitchen, which has individuals from the Ukraine working for them. During this last spring break, my elder daughter offered a dog walking service to raise money to donate to WCK. I’m proud of her support for this worldwide cause.
These are just three suggestions, and, as I mentioned, there are so many other worthwhile organizations supporting the Ukraine. If you have time or finances available to offer, please do.
This war is far from over.
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