As displaced Ukrainians make their way out of their homeland and begin to build new lives in new places, there are a whole host of needs that have arisen. Some are evident, like shelter and healthcare, while others are simpler but still important, like toiletries and socks. But right now, one of the most pressing needs is transportation.
At first glance, the need to move displaced people — individuals, families, and larger groups — from place to place seems obvious. Moving volunteers, goods and donations is an equally pressing issue.
Companies and individuals around the world have stepped up to answer the call for help.
The Washington Post reported that Tom Littledyke, a U.K.-based pub owner, drove his personal 16-seat minibus more than 1,000 miles from his home in Lyme Regis, a small coastal English town, to the Polish border of Ukraine to deliver more than $1,000 worth of supplies. He then continued to transport people from a train station in Lviv, Ukraine, to the Polish border so they could cross to safety.
News outlets in Europe report that Paddywagon, an Irish tour bus company, sent a fleet of coaches to Poland loaded with donations to support those who are displaced, including medical supplies, blankets, hygiene products, baby food, diapers and toys. After the buses were emptied of supplies, the drivers turned around and transported more than 200 Ukrainian refugees to France, where Brittany Ferries provided free cabins on the journey back to Ireland.
The European Travel Commission is a non-profit responsible for the promotion of Europe as a tourist destination. They have pledged to provide transportation, as well as shelter and food, to displaced Ukrainians.
“Travel is a force of peace towards a better future, and no aggression should stop it,” the ETC said in a statement.
How You Can Help
No matter where you are in the world, you can have an impact on this humanitarian crisis. Volunteering your own time to transport those in need in your own vehicle is one path you can take. But do not self-deploy. Be sure to connect with a Points of Light Global Network affiliate in your area that understands the landscape and the needs so that you can support the relief effort both safely and effectively.
Appeal to companies and organizations that have the resources to help. If you know a transportation company that may be interested in loaning its vehicles, reach out to one of Points of Light’s Global Network affiliates to help.
Cash donations are the most effective way to support the relief efforts in and around Ukraine. When you give to the Points of Light Ukraine Crisis Response Fund, we will funnel your donation directly to our affiliates in the area.
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.