The war in Ukraine is now a full-fledged humanitarian crisis.
The United Nations estimates that more than 1.7 million refugees have fled Ukraine in the first 11 days of the conflict. They're going to neighboring countries like Poland, Romania, Moldova, and Hungary, which have largely opened their borders to those seeking safety.
While different nation's have necessarily stepped up to help, businesses are also lending a hand. Here are a few ways companies are offering donations, a place to sleep, or other acts of charity to help Ukrainians in need:
Offering temporary housing
Airbnb announced on February 28 that it would provide temporary housing for up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, with the stays funded by Airbnb and supported through donations to the company's nonprofit arm, Airbnb.org. The company is also actively seeking volunteer hosts, particularly in Poland, Germany, Hungary, and Romania.
CEO Brian Chesky also recently pointed out another way its platform is helping: After a tweet that recommended booking Airbnbs in Ukraine as a way of getting funds directly to Ukrainians went viral, the company confirmed that it was waiving all guest and host fees on the bookings, so it was not profiting on the crisis.
Donating profits to charity
A straightforward way other businesses are getting involved is by donating to relief efforts in Ukraine, by matching employee donations, devoting profits to a cause, or making a charitable contribution directly as a company. Over the course of two days, the Mansfield, Missouri, seed company Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company donated 100 percent of its sales to the nonprofit World Help, which is working with Ukrainian organizations to provide food and water to refugees. Baker Creek raised $1.6 million, in its largest charitable effort to date. As founder and owner Jere Gettle wrote on Baker Creek's website, this cause hits close to home: His great-grandparents, German immigrants to Odessa, fled Ukraine because of Soviet aggression in the early 20th century.
Setting up charitable funds
The San Francisco-based expert-on-demand company JustAnswer, which has about a quarter of its workforce in Ukraine, set up a , which will go toward the Ukrainian armed forces and refugees, with donations facilitated by the Ukrainian charity Lviv ІТ Cluster. JustAnswer raised over $50,000 in under 24 hours, and CEO Andy Kurtzig says the company is also matching the first $50,000 raised by JustAnswer employees and experts. crisis fund
The Tel Aviv-based website builder Wix has about 950 employees based in Ukraine, which led CEO Nir Zohar to take serious action, he told The Washington Post. An internal team of about 20 Wix employees worked together to book travel and lodging to help about 500 Ukraine-based Wix employees and their families to flee the country amid the conflict, and is in close contact with the workers who remain in Ukraine. Wix kept a close eye on the developing conflict weeks before Russia invaded the country, and started helping employees evacuate to Poland the second week of February. Since Ukraine restricted men ages 18 to 60 from leaving the country, Wix is unable to evacuate all of its remaining employees, but is still actively helping families flee, paying employees their salaries in advance, and providing refugees with food, cash, diapers, and other essentials.
Getting customers involved
The Chicago-based phone company Mode Mobile, which was founded in 2017, allows users to earn points through an app or smartphone that rewards them for activities like streaming music and reading or playing games, which they can redeem for gift cards in value up to $600 per year. On March 3, the company started offering its users the ability to donate a set number of points toward an individual $5 donation to the Ukrainian armed forces through the charity savelife.in.ua. Mode says it will match up to $1,000 in donations--a number it has already hit--and will send funds in Bitcoin to the charity via Coinbase.