Despite Russia and Ukraine agreeing to a cease-fire, the port city of Mariupol collapsed amid scenes of terror and Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Saturday in a speech from Moscow that the neighboring country could lose its statehood.
The struggle to enforce the temporary cease-fire in Mariupol and the eastern city of Volnovakha showed the fragility of efforts to stop the fighting across Ukraine as the number of people fleeing the country reached 1.4 million just 10 days after Russian forces invaded.
Ukrainian officials said Russian artillery fire and airstrikes had prevented residents from leaving before the agreed-to evacuations got underway. Putin accused Ukraine accused Ukraine of sabotaging the effort and claimed the actions of Ukraine’s leadership called into question the country’s future as an independent state.
As the invasion of Ukraine continues, many, including Chicago-area residents, are watching from afar looking for ways to aid the country in its fight.
As world leaders condemned the intervention and put multiple sanctions on Russia, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s said in a tweet that “Now, more than ever, we need concrete support.”
For those wondering how you can support, here are some verified groups that accept donations for medical supplies, humanitarian aid and on-ground volunteers.
Organizations Providing Medical Supplies and Humanitarian Aid
Razom for Ukraine – Razom, which means “together” in Ukrainian, is a volunteer charity organization that was founded in 2014 to support Ukrainians after Russia annexed Crimea.
GlobalGiving Ukraine Relief Fund – GlobalGiving is using all donations to support humanitarian assistance to impacted communities in Ukraine, as well as the surrounding regions where refugees have fled. Donating to the cause will provide basic necessities such as shelter, food, clean water, including health, psychosocial support, access to education and economic assistance and more.
Jewish United Fund: Crisis in Ukraine – Serving all faiths in Chicago, Israel and across the world, JUF is delivering humanitarian aid to 40,000 poor Jewish elderly and families in Ukraine. The organization is prioritizing aid to the nearly 10,000 Holocaust survivors living in Ukraine, many of whom are homebound.
Organizations Helping Children Affected by War
UNICEF – UNICEF mainly supports children and families caught in conflict in Ukraine. The agency provides educational support, psychosocial support, emergency supplies as well as access to safe water. The organization announced it has scaled up its programs following the invasion. Catherine Russell, UNICEF executive director, said the intensifying violence in Ukraine posed immediate threats to the lives and wellbeing of the country’s 7.5 million children.
Save the Children – The London-based organization works to provide life-saving aid to children around the world, including 400,000 children “caught in the crossfire of this adult war” in Ukraine who already required assistance.
Voices of the Children – This nonprofit helps provide psychological and psychosocial support to children in Ukraine affected by the consequences of armed conflict.
Organizations Helping Refugees
International Rescue Committee – The refugee organization works to help evacuate regular families out of conflicted areas – including Ukraine. The IRC said this “full-scale war” will result in a humanitarian catastrophe, leading to deaths of innocent people, destruction of infrastructure and massive displacement.
Local Groups Accepting Donations/Donating Proceeds
Meest-Karpaty – The delivery company, which sends parcels to Ukraine and other countries, said it will be accepting “humanitarian aid packages” Wednesday for shipping to Ukraine.
Full Circle Pilates – Full Circle Pilates started an Amazon wishlist with supplies that the Chicago business says will be sent directly to Ukraine via Meest-Karpaty (above).
Door County Candle Company– Door County Candle Company is selling a candle with the colors of the Ukrainian flag and 100% of the proceeds are going to Razom for Ukraine, a Ukrainian 501 (c)(3) organization, according to the company’s owner, who is Ukrainian-American.
For a continuously updated list of ways to help, click here.