Imagine, coming home from your workday, overhearing young children talking about becoming refugees – describing having to leave the homes they’ve always known because of bombings.
This is an experience Agnieszka Lissowska-Lewkowicz vividly remembers, and it’s one of the things that drives her to find meaningful ways to support the more than 2 million Ukrainian refugees in Poland. Her organization has been able to help connect corporate volunteers with a few hundred refugees so far.
Right now, it’s very clear that organizations providing relief in the region need funds. It is, by far, the most pressing need because funding allows those on the ground to put much-needed expertise and staffing in place to meet emergent needs in real time. For example, $18,000 can fund a full-time staff person at these organizations for an entire year.
As CEO of Stowarzyszenie Centrum Wolontariatu, the Points of Light affiliate in Poland, Lissowska-Lewkowicz has been working to coordinate support between local nonprofit organizations, like Malteser Ukraine, and businesses in the region including Raytheon, a Points of Light corporate partner. The company has 8,000 employees in Poland, its largest site outside of North America.
Raytheon’s overarching goal is to understand the needs and work with trusted organizations to coordinate employee volunteers and assist financially. Its teams are procuring essential items for distribution to refugees through the Polish government. Some are even helping by housing refugees.
In uncertain times, knowing that nonprofits in the region are working with civic-minded companies to aid refugees and others in need provides a sense of hope. There are also things you can do to help.
3 Ways You Can Support Ukraine Today
- Donate. Cash is the single most effective way you can support Ukrainian relief. When you donate through Points of Light, we ensure that your gift directly reaches our affiliates around Ukraine so they can support refugees and mobilize other humanitarian efforts.
- Do not self-deploy. It’s understandable that seeing harrowing images of the suffering in and around Ukraine might prompt you to feel compelled to take action. Wait until experts in the region say the time is right. Otherwise, what is intended to be helpful could actually become a hindrance – or worse – a danger.
- Get involved with an organization serving refugees in your own community. Points of Light can connect you with a worldwide network of affiliates that are in close touch with the specialized needs around Ukraine relief. Find an organization near you so you can be in touch and prepared to act when the time comes.
Points of Light operates with a network of innovative volunteer-mobilizing organizations who serve more than 177 affiliates across 38 countries around the world. Together we are inspiring, equipping and mobilizing more people to use their time, talent, voice and resources to create positive change in their communities. Learn more about our Global Network.