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​The Big Apple Has an Even Bigger Heart. Ukraine Humanitarian Efforts in NYC

As the world cries in rage at the atrocious injustice and murder of our Ukrainian brothers, sisters, and children, the diplomats have their hands tied. While sanctions imposed are well and good, those will take months, if not over half a year, to achieve full impact. In the meantime, individuals from all over the world are crossing borders to fight against Putin’s oppression. 

In Russia

Surprisingly, Putin has turned against his citizens, given that Russians themselves are suffering. The Russian people are outraged and protesting the killings and occupation. By March 7, over 4,300 Russians are in jail over antiwar protests. Over 150 journalists fled Russia from fears of rising persecution. Russians that signed antiwar petitions are getting fired from their jobs. As Russian officials spread war propaganda, the remaining mothers of young soldiers protest the invasion of Ukraine. Russian soldiers suffer from low morale, demonstrated by a lack of cohesion and discipline while fearing being greeted as murderers instead of victors back in their homeland. How else could anyone feel when being asked to attack and occupy a courageous country without provocation, murder innocent children, violate agreements of a cease-fire, and in a sense, murder, cheat and lie for gain? Putin’s resolution and aggression grow as Russian jails fill up proportionally to the Ukrainian morgues. 

There is a real threat that the delayed progress and occupation resistance in Ukraine could provoke Putin to take unspeakable action. At a moment where this fiend and a bloodthirsty tyrant remains unaffected by cries of people, dying children, international outrage, or the oppression of his people screaming from jails, every bit of well-timed help is crucial. NYC rallies to help support our heroic Ukrainian brothers and sisters and their courageous leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy. So let’s join the New Yorkers that generously give and support Ukraine. Let’s remember that no gift is too big or too small to make a difference.

How can you help?

While many businesses boost morale by displaying the Ukrainian flag and symbols, some take it further. So let’s support those who are striving to make a difference.

The Gatsby

The Gatsby Social Club Mafia Club hosts Eastern-European-themed events, workshops, mafia plays, meet-ups, parties, presentations, and more. In addition, the Gatsby transformed into a humanitarian base where employees and volunteers gather supplies to ship to Ukraine. So you can swing by and donate non-perishable food items, baby formula, personal care/hygiene items, and other necessities.

Events

Numerous groups such as the Ukrainian Running Club New York, Ukrainian National Home, Razom for Ukraine, and other organizations, institutions, and churches are Increasing support rallies, marathons, and various events across NYC. For example, this week, the Ukrainian cross of gratitude arrived at the St. Patrick’s Cathedral and is available for viewing. The cross is part of a pilgrimage traveling to over 46 countries to demonstrate support for defending Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Consulate NYC

As the NYC lawmakers visited the Ukraine consulate on Friday, the Ukrainian council presented unrefutable evidence of Russia purposefully targeting civilians (residential areas, hospitals, children’s centers, and first aid help). Active rallies take place outside of the consulate.

In cooperation with IRC (the international rescue committee), the Ukrainian consulate organized a fundraiser to aid the refugee crisis in Ukraine. People can make one-time donations or establish ongoing monthly tax-deductible contributions through the consulate website or by calling 1-800-9RESCUE.

Businesses that STILL support Russia

Many notable organizations abruptly cut ties with the Russian economy. Even the artistic world of New York City was shocked to see the Metropolitan Opera dissolve ties with the Russian soprano Anna Netrebko (a long-time supporter of Putin).

However, if you wish to make sure that your hard-earned dollars don’t support a country that allows its dictator to murder, stay away from companies that still choose to profit from ongoing connections with Russia or were slow to exit the country.

  • Estee Lauder (as of March 7th, they released a statement in support of Ukraine, as well as suspending business in Russia)
  • Shell (as of March 8th, they announced their intention to withdraw from Russia oil and gas)
  • McDonald (as of March 8th, they have suspended operations in Russia)
  • PepsiCo (as of March 8th, they suspended production and sale of Pepsi-Cola and other global beverage brands in Russia)
  • Coca-Cola (as of March 8th, they suspended business in Russia) 
  • Yum Brands-think KFC and Pizza Hut (released a statement of pause on investment and development in Russia and a redirection of profits to humanitarian efforts)
  • Mondelez International- think Oreos and Ritz crackers (as of March 9th they announced they scaled back non-essential activities in Russia, increased humanitarian efforts, but have not completely cut ties with Russia) 
  • Starbucks (as of March 8th, they have suspended all business activity in Russia)
  • Herbalife
  • Hilton (as of March 9th, they have paused development for future hotels)
  • Kimberly-Clark– maker of Huggies and Cottonelle 

Support businesses that are committed to helping Ukraine

New York City is home to one of the largest Ukrainian populations outside Ukraine. So starting the last weekend of February, governor Hochul lit up more than a dozen landmarks in the colors of the Ukrainian flag. Prominent buildings such as the Empire State building display yellow and blue lights.

Streecha

Streecha Is one of the east Village Staples with homemade Ukrainian classics. In addition, the chef hosts weekly volunteer classes on how to make their signature dumplings.

Balthazar

March 8 will mark the following date, during which the owner, Keith Mcnally, will donate all proceed to UNICEF’s Protection Children in Ukraine. For more information or future dates, check out their website.

KGB bar

KGB bar joined the establishments that switched all the Russian alcohol brands to Ukrainian ones.

Veselka

This pierogi and borscht East Village Staple redesigned the famous black and white cookie in the colors of the Ukrainian flag and is donating 10% of its borscht sales to Ukraine efforts.

Archestratus Books and Foods

Archestratus holds bake sales to benefit “Cook for Ukraine” (a fundraising effort organized by neighborhood chefs).

The Ukrainian Museum in the East Village

Explore the rich Ukrainian history at one of the country’s largest Ukrainian museums.

Golden Leo

Golden Leo offers dinner and dancing in the lively Brooklyn setting. Complete with all-night Ukrainian music, this locale provides more than entertainment. Gold and Leo created an Amazon list that patrons can order from directly. You will find medical supplies and other necessities shipped directly to Ukraine on the list. 

Rondel

Rondell is a traditional Ukrainian restaurant with live music and Ukrainian classics. Similar to the Golden Leo, Rondel is using the same Amazon list.

Wow Boquet (online)

These gorgeous and edible bouquets are reminiscent of a tropical vacation. Complete with dragon fruit, mangoes, orchids, and other astonishing features, Wow Bouquet is owned and operated by Ukrainians who pledged 10% of their sales to help families in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian Institute of America

Situated in the former Fletcher-Sinclair mansion on the Upper Eastside, the UIA nonprofit promotes Ukrainian art, music, children’s programs, film screenings, and literature.

Dacha 1946

This restaurant is hosting “Cook for Ukraine” events and fundraisers.

Inked NYC

This tattoo parlor is hosting “raffles for tattoo time” to raise money for refugees.

Support the Ukrainian journalists

Besides donating to reputable international organizations that currently support Ukraine refugee displacement, you can consider direct impact. Due to compromised infrastructure and war-zone risks, the news flowing out of Ukraine is severely compromised. The Kyiv Independent is accepting donations to help journalistic efforts. They have set up the gofundme and the Patreon pages.

Big Apple and an even bigger heart

With each day, the opportunities to donate and support are growing incrementally. Wars bring out the worst in people, but they also bring out the best. So let’s help New York tip the scales in favor of Ukraine, its brave people, suffering children, and their courageous president. We all know that the Big Apple has an even bigger heart. Let’s show it!

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