One of the common refrains I’ve heard from friends recently about the invasion of Ukraine is, “I don’t know what I can do to help, I’m only one person and there’s only so much I can donate“.
Let’s recap and awaken two things here.
First, you have a voice. One voice by itself may not sound like much, just as one drop of water isn’t much. Stand in front of a firehose and you’ll know what water can do. Your voice matters, both in what you say and how often you say it.
Use your voice to:
- Contact your government officials DAILY about the most urgent needs. As of the time of this writing, that’s air cover for Ukraine. The Ukrainian Army can hold its own against the Russian invading ground forces, but they can’t counter cruise missiles and heavy artillery as well. Closing down the skies to all aircraft would level the battlefield.
- Raise awareness among your colleagues, friends, and family. An astonishing number of people aren’t even sure what’s going on. One of my neighbors didn’t even realize Russia had invaded Ukraine.
- Focus attention on credible sources. This is part physical war and part information war. Helping people find credible sources to read and understand what’s going on is essential to helping motivate them.
- Stay in touch with friends in Ukraine or those who have family there.
I asked a friend the other day in Ukraine if messaging them was distracting or troubling, and they said, “These messages are like medicine, thank you so much. Thank you for your help and concern”. Seeing public support from around the world reminds people that they’re not alone. You may not be able to pick up a rifle and join the resistance forces, but your support still means something.
Second, you have skills of some kind. Use them in support of the war. For people in my profession – marketing – you have the literal skills needed to capture and direct attention. Use the power of the audience you’ve accumulated, be it 5 people or 5 million, to direct attention where it’s needed, such as donations, support, refugee status, etc.
Other folks have skills like translation, fundraising, even legal skills to help refugees file asylum claims and other such work.
What if you don’t work in a field that has directly applicable skills to the conflict? You still have skills to pay the bills in some fashion if you’re in the professional workforce. Could you pick up an extra hour or two of work? Even US$50 extra turns into 1,772 Ukrainian hryvnia, which can be directed towards the war effort itself or humanitarian purposes.
Even if you’re not employed, you have or can learn some skills to make a few coins here and there. Artist? Musician? Writer? Creative? Create stuff, perhaps even sell stuff and donate the proceeds to the war effort. Some donation options include:
- The war fund run by the National Bank of Ukraine
- The humanitarian fund run by the Red Cross of Ukraine
- The refugee feeding effort run by World Central Kitchen
Use your voice. Use your skills. Every little bit helps. One drop of water isn’t much, but enough of them together is an unstoppable tidal wave.