A Letter to our KOOSHOO Community regarding the Ukraine Crisis & Ways You Can Help
To our dear KOOSHOO community,
If we’ve been a bit silent on social media, it’s to give space. Space for the voices that need to be heard, and space for ourselves and our community to listen and process the current crisis in Ukraine. Now more than ever, we need to listen to those voices.
The obvious need not be said: we are living through a tumultuous time. We have all collectively been witness to some of the most bizarre last couple of years and just as a light appeared at the end of our shared tunnel, the current crisis in Ukraine materialized. What is happening there is unconscionable, beyond comprehension, and completely unnecessary.
While we realize that war and conflict are by no means new and that every day, there are battles being waged across our planet, the invasion of Ukraine by Russia shocked us - as we’re sure it did for you too, and the entire world. The brazenness of the attacks, at the hands of a lone aggressor, is beyond thinkable, heinous, and an act of flagrant violence. We truly hope that one day - perhaps in our lifetime (we are forever dreamers and optimists) - warfare, with its weapons of mass destruction, will be a thing of the past.
But like you, we are feeling a lot during this shaky time: powerlessness, hopelessness, fear, sadness, anger are among the gamut of emotions we have run through. While we are far removed from the Ukraine crisis, we want to do something to help uplift the people of Ukraine.
We are learning of so many ways to support the people of Ukraine right now - support that is providing humanitarian aid and a shred of dignity during an awful and chaotic time. We would like to focus on those efforts. Our mission at KOOSHOO has always been about uplifting people - it’s what we stand for and why we started this company. All people everywhere deserve peace, independence, and the ability to live their lives unencumbered by violence.
Ways you can help:
For those of us who feel far removed from the conflict in Ukraine, taking action in some small-but-meaningful way provides a necessary outlet, an antidote. But there’s been much misinformation spread and we’re keen to not add to that. So, we’ve combed through the myriad articles and donations sites to put together a shortlist of resources to help you: ways to stay informed and ways to help, even from a continent away.
Learn from reputable sources and share that information
It can feel like an impossible task to verify social media accounts, particularly these days. Fortunately, there are some reliable, digital accounts to learn more about the current Russian invasion of Ukraine and stay up-to-date.
- The Ukraine Ministry of Foreign Affairs has Twitter and Instagram pages that are regularly updated.
- The President of Ukraine, Володимир Зеленський (Volodymyr Zelenskyy) also has up-to-date social accounts including Twitter and Instagram.
- Learn about the spread of Russian misinformation and what’s being done to stop it, by the investigative journalists and fact-checkers at Bellingcat in this article.
- Support independent journalism like the Kyiv Independent.
Give financially to verified charities and groups (if you’re able)
It can be difficult to understand which organizations are worthy of financial contributions, and where that money goes once donated. Here is a small gathering of different, verified ways to contribute financially to the people of Ukraine.
- Reach out to your contacts - if you have friends, colleagues, or acquaintances in Ukraine, or who are from Ukraine and might still have family there, ask them how you can help. This is the most assured way to ensure your funds go directly to someone who needs support.
- GoFundMe has organized a humanitarian aid fund for Ukraine. They have committed to distributing all funds “to verified nonprofit organizations supporting vulnerable communities to obtain access to shelter, food, medical services, education, and psychosocial support, as well as other people impacted.”
- Save the Children is an international NGO dedicated to delivering emergency aid to Ukrainian families. This is where KOOSHOO chose to donate at this time.
Understand that the world is not black and white
While there is a very real crisis going on in Ukraine, we want to make it clear that we are not denouncing the people of Russia broadly. We understand that conflict and war are nuanced and that there are many brave Russians taking to the street, or using their voice to stand against this senseless war.
Right now, what the world needs most is union and peace. If we can achieve that by connecting with our people and our communities - regardless of race, ethnicity, or creed - to share empathy and love…this is one of the most powerful actions we as individuals can take.
Join a peaceful rally in support of the people of Ukraine
We have been encouraged to see the groundswell of support from those in cities around the world as they have taken to the streets to lend their voices to Ukraine. These marches are popping up everywhere and there may be one where you live.
Keep moving forward
We will be the first to admit that in times of crisis, it can feel ridiculous to keep our day-to-day routines up (hello, pandemic!). Many of us are struggling with feeling helpless while also in a privileged position of relative safety. However, we are learning (slowly and surely) that what the world needs right now is bravery, courage, and compassion. The lesson here may be to learn what is going on in Ukraine, take meaningful action in your own way, and continue to do what lights a fire underneath you.
In the spirit of living, we also thought it worthwhile to inject some humour to what is a deeply dark point in history. The Daily Show’s Noah Trevor knows how to bring a smile while also reminding us of sheer bravery being exhibited by everyday Ukrainian (and Russian) people.
Finally, we’re inspired by President Zelenskyy and his commitment to the Ukrainian people. Have a listen to his 2019 inauguration speech: https://twitter.com/therecount/status/1497761217229766657
While we cannot wave a magic wand and remove the act of war from this planet, we can all do our part to ensure that it doesn’t continue to happen. And as we walk this path, we are called to be good neighbours and friends. We ask ourselves, and we humbly ask you, our amazing KOOSHOO community: how can we be of service at this time?
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace” - Jimi Hendrix