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U.S. Employers Offer Aid to Ukrainian Refugees

A woman's hands make a heart shape with the flag of ukraine.

​This article was updated March 10 to reflect a new donation amount from AmerisourceBergen.  

Employers large and small are among those reaching out to offer humanitarian aid to Ukrainian refugees.

More than 1.7 million people have fled Ukraine since Russian troops rolled across its borders Feb. 24, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. That number could grow to 4 million, The Wall Street Journal reported. The invasion has caused the worst refugee crisis in Europe since World War II, and many refugees are women and children, as the Ukraine government is prohibiting men ages 18 to 60 from leaving so that they can be available for military service, The Associated Press reported.

U.S. employers are contributing cash, goods and services to aid the people of Ukraine.

AmerisourceBergen, a global drug wholesale company in Conshohocken, Pa., committed $500,000 in grants for care and relief, including to humanitarian aid organization Direct Relief to support its emergency response in and around Ukraine, according to Susan Lorenz-Fisher, vice president of corporate responsibility and sustainability. 

The company's foundation is doubling employees' donations to Direct Relief, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund at GlobalGiving. As of March 10, more than $114,000 in donations and matches have been given. It's also providing direct financial support to its employees based in the Ukraine, Lorenz-Fisher told SHRM Online.

Laika Cheesecake and Espresso in San Antonio raised $72,405.63 the weekend of Feb. 25-27. Most of that was from sales, but more than $25,000 came from donations. All the money is going to support military forces in Ukraine, according to owner Anna Afanasieva, who is originally from there. She and her husband opened their business in 2020, My San Antonio reported.

Uber is providing refugees unlimited free trips between Ukrainian border crossings and the Polish cities of Lublin and Rzeszow. Keen, an outdoor footwear company in Portland, Ore., is donating $55,000 in cash, footwear and other products for refugees at the Hungary, Poland and Slovakia borders.

SHRM Online collected the following news stories and resources about U.S. employers' humanitarian support for the Ukrainian people. 

Airbnb to Help up to 100K Ukrainian Refugees with Free, Temporary Housing

Airbnb announced Feb. 28 that the homestay and rental company, along with the nonprofit, will offer free short-term housing for up to 100,000 refugees fleeing Ukraine in the wake of Russia's attacks on the country.

A message posted on the company's website revealed that Airbnb's co-founders—Brian Chesky, the company's CEO; Joe Gebbia,'s chairman; and Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb's chief strategy officer—sent letters to leaders across Europe detailing their plans to support refugees.

(NBC New York)  

Charlotte Bakery Raising Money for Ukrainian Refugees, Pets

Manolo Betancur, an immigrant from Colombia and the owner of Manolo's Latin Bakery, said he wanted to help Ukrainians because he understands some of what they are going through. He and his staff set to work baking cakes to raise money for Ukrainian causes, particularly those that help refugees leaving the country.

The net profit of the $19 yellow and blue cakes—the colors of the Ukrainian flag—goes to local bakeries in Poland where he has made connections. The money will help those bakeries in their work to feed the refugees. He said his bakery has already raised $3,000.

(Queen City News)

How to Help Ukrainians: These Organizations Are Looking for Donations

Employers looking to contribute aid to refugees may want to consider doing so through far-reaching organizations such as Catholic Charities, Save the Children and United Nations refugee agency UNHCR, which are working to help Ukrainians during this crisis.


Humanitarian Response to the Ukrainian-Russian Crisis

Charity Navigator, which provides free access to data, tools and resources to guide philanthropic decision-making, provides a list of highly rated charities involved in relief and recovery efforts in Ukraine and the surrounding region. 


Attorney General James Warns New Yorkers to Be Cautious in Charitable Giving Amid Ukrainian Crisis

New York Attorney General Letitia James on March 3 provided warnings and tips to New Yorkers who are seeking ways to support the Ukrainian people amid the ongoing conflict. The Office of the Attorney General warns that they should be wary of sham charities attempting to take advantage of this humanitarian crisis and should ensure that they are giving to credible organizations.

The attorney general for New Hampshire and others are advising similar caution.

(Office of the Attorney General, New York)  

5 Questions to Ask Before Donating Relief Funds for Ukraine

Many organizations claim to offer relief for Ukrainians during the Russian invasion, but some charities don't live up to their promises. The Better Business Bureau and suggest asking these five questions before making any donations to relief efforts in Ukraine.


How can you help?
The International Committee of the Red Cross remains active in Ukraine, saving and protecting the lives of victims of armed conflict and violence. Its neutral and impartial humanitarian action supports the most vulnerable people, and your donation will make a huge difference to families in need right now. Donate here.


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