Since Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine late last month, millions of Ukrainians have fled their home country.
As Russian attacks continue, organizations are raising funds and collecting supplies for humanitarian relief and efforts to bolster Ukraine’s defense. Groups working to address those needs range from large international organizations to smaller local ones.
Before making a donation, do some research, says the Illinois attorney general’s office. Find out whether the charity is providing direct aid in the region or raising money for other groups. Under Illinois law, fundraisers and charitable organizations are required to register with the attorney general’s office, which maintains a searchable database of organizations.
Locally, St. Joseph the Betrothed Ukrainian Catholic Church in Chicago’s O’Hare community area is raising funds to provide medical care to wounded Ukrainian soldiers in the U.S. and Ukraine, as well as support chaplains serving in battle zones to provide necessities for soldiers and their families.
Ukraine has also launched a state hotline for people wishing to provide humanitarian assistance or support the Ukrainian military, according to the Consulate General of Ukraine in Chicago. The hotline is +380 44 237 00 02.
Here are more ways to support efforts:
Founded by Ukrainian immigrants and located in Chicago’s O’Hare community, Selfreliance Federal Credit Union has created a special relief fund for Ukrainians and is waiving wire transfer fees to Ukraine.
Chicago-based Jewish United Fund is delivering assistance to 40,000 poor and elderly Jewish families in Ukraine, prioritizing aid to the nearly 10,000 Holocaust survivors, many of whom are homebound. The organization is also working to secure emergency accommodations for millions of refugees and facilitating access to emergency financial aid.
The Ukrainian Congress Committee of America is raising funds to purchase and provide humanitarian aid provisions to Ukrainian civilians, refugees and soldiers.
Established in 1925, the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America is raising funds to provide humanitarian aid to Ukrainians, with plans to direct funds to four military hospitals serving wounded warriors and to help displaced and wounded civilians.
Based in Berwyn, the Ukrainian Baptist Church is working with its missionaries in Ukraine and internationally to deliver supplies such as food, medicine and protective gear to Ukrainians. The church is also sponsoring a bakery in Kyiv to bake and distribute bread to the population for free.
Razom for Ukraine, founded in 2014 to support Ukrainians after Russia annexed Crimea, has launched an emergency response to raise funds for tactical medical supplies and equipment for Ukrainian hospitals.
The International Committee of the Red Cross helps people affected by conflict and armed violence and has been working in Ukraine since 2014. The organization is providing food, medical supplies, kits to treat those who have been wounded and other essential items.
Direct Relief, a humanitarian aid organization, says it is working with Ukraine’s Ministry of Health and other on-the-ground partners to provide medical support for Ukraine and surrounding countries receiving refugees.
UNICEF emergency response teams have been working in Ukraine since 2014 to address impacts of conflict on children in the country’s eastern region and have since scaled up operations across the country. The organization’s work is focused on meeting the most urgent needs for safety, health care, clean water and nutrition while protecting children’s rights.
Save the Children has launched a Ukraine crisis relief fund to provide children and families with immediate aid like food, water, hygiene kits and cash assistance.
World Central Kitchen, founded in 2010 by celebrity chef Jose Andres, is working to provide nutritious meals to Ukrainians who have fled their homes and those who remain in the country.
Global Giving, a nonprofit that connects donors and companies with other nonprofits, is seeking to raise funds to provide humanitarian assistance in Ukrainian communities impacted by the conflict and surrounding regions where Ukrainians have fled. Donations will be used to provide food, water and shelter for refugees, as well as health and psychosocial support and access to education economic assistance.
Looking for more ways to donate?
The Consulate General of Ukraine in Chicago updates its Facebook page with ways to donate. Check out Charity Navigator’s comprehensive list of organizations providing provisions, medical services and supplies, emergency housing and more.
Note: This story was originally published March 16. It has been updated to include our “Chicago Tonight” discussion.