By How Miller
NOTE: https://www.specialforces78.com/support-ukraine/ is a good resource for charities resources
Charities large and small have been scrambling to keep pace with the surge in needs in Ukraine. Besides the good charities that you are donating to, you might be asking yourself if there are some who are delivering critical goods and services right now, where and when it is needed in Ukraine.
On the large end: Direct Relief has earned a 4/4 Star rating on Charity Navigator. This charitable organization is headquartered in Santa Barbara, CA. Check out their website at DirectRelief.org for news and compelling pictures. Here is a quote today from their Facebook page: “This week, 133 pallets worth of medical aid left Direct Relief’s warehouse for distribution to Ukraine. Included in the shipments were 23 pallets of cancer treatment meds to the Ministry of Health in Ukraine, and a fourth 50-bed field hospital content kit donated from California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.
Since February 24, Direct Relief has provided medical aid weighing more than 300 tons in weight and including over 61 million defined doses of medication to the country, with more on the way”.
In case you don’t think they have a large part of their focus on Ukraine, take a look at the flags in the picture below, which I took of the front of their building on 4.30.22, a Saturday.
Doctors Without Borders/Medecines sans Frontieres (MSF): For up to date info on what they have been urgently doing lately, visit their website www.doctorswithoutborders.org.
Long known for going anywhere, including very dangerous places where conflict is depriving citizens of much needed medical care, this four-star rated charity is very much akin to what SF medics do, except they don’t have the luxury of sometimes having an A team to protect them. Many of these amazing medical professionals die in war zones doing what they can and saving many lives.
From their website: “MSF has a longstanding presence in Ukraine, including in parts of the eastern region that have been affected by armed conflict since 2014. A large part of our work in Ukraine from 2014 to 2021 was responding to the needs of patients with HIV, tuberculosis, or other chronic illnesses. Due to the current war, we have halted normal activities and have started emergency activities in Ukraine. We currently have teams in Kyiv, Lviv, Vinnytsia, Zhytomir, Dnipro, Kharkiv, Odessa, Mykolaiv, Poltava, Bila Tserkva, Uzhhorod and Ivano-Frankivsk. We also have teams in Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Slovakia, Russia, and Belarus. MSF is an independent and impartial organization committed to providing medical humanitarian assistance to people affected by the war no matter who they are or where they are.”
UNICEF/UNHCR in Ukraine and environs: UNICEF’s emergency response teams — who have been on the ground in Ukraine since 2014, addressing impacts of conflict on children in the eastern region — have significantly scaled up operations all across the country since war broke out Feb. 24, 2022
UNICEF response teams have been on the ground on both sides of the contact line for the past eight years, delivering humanitarian assistance to impacted communities. The socio-economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic only compounded existing hardships. UNICEF has been steadily ramping up support focusing on the hardest-hit areas. See more at https://www.unicefusa.org/war-ukraine.
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC): At press time, they are helping civilians evacuate from the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, along with many other activities.
In Mariupol, Ukraine, the ICRC is making a continual effort to deliver urgently needed aid to the city. On April 6, an ICRC team led a convoy of buses and private cars carrying about 1,000 people to Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine. The civilians transported in the humanitarian convoy had fled Mariupol on their own. The ICRC team had tried over the course of five days to reach Mariupol, and came within 12 miles of the city, but security conditions on the ground made it impossible to enter.
Learn more about the ICRC at https://www.icrc.org/en.
There are also smaller, but highly effective, efforts, such as former Green Beret Doc Padget’s team, Refugee Relief International, Inc (RRII). They recently sent a team into Ukraine and have posted an after action report at www.refugeerelief.org. In addition to the RRII website, SFA Chapter 23 is assisting helping to collect donations at their UKRAINE Medical Relief Fund. This link is an additional point to make donations to support RRII.
Rotary International and it’s Northeast Florida District have been very active and highly focused in assisting the elderly and women and children in Poland, the Ukraine and the US. Rotarians, many of whom previously served as Green Berets and who currently are members of Special Forces Association Chapter 88, have collected and delivered so far well over US$0.7 million of humanitarian aid equipment and supplies.
Please contact me at 904.534.0035
Assistant S3 SFA Chapter 88
Chairman Support Committee Jacksonville National Cemetery
Advisor to The Board of The National POW MIA Memorial & Museum at Cecil Field Florida