Newsletter #1: What Razom’s Doing and the First Urgent Shipment

This begins a series of newsletters from Razom to keep our community updated on our work and impact, and the resources available for you to join in.

Dear Razom Community, 

The past 24 hours have been unimaginable.  The reports that started flooding in from our friends, our loved ones, or the reports that wouldn’t come in for what felt like ages, is a moment in time that we know won’t leave us for a long time.  Razom volunteers have been mobilizing, coordinating, working nonstop across time zones to ensure we understand what Ukraine needs right now and how we can all help.  

We are in awe with the speed that volunteers across multiple states and countries found each other, focused, and organized to carry out this Emergency Response.  Especially when one considers the circumstances and the amount of obstacles that are thrown their way. At times it’s been incredibly overwhelming – especially when websites go down, or russian bots block Facebook fundraisers, or other organizations join the cause so swiftly, accelerating our fundraising efforts that we are simply overwhelmed.  So we’re here to take a collective deep breath and remind ourselves (and others!) about what resources, tools, networks, and tactics are available to us. 

Here’s what we must do (listed in order of urgency, every minute counts right now):

  • Write and call your elected officials to act immediately and enact debilitating sanctions on Russia (including cutting Russian banks off from SWIFT, and an embargo on Russian oil and gas), fully isolate Russia from the international community, provide weapons and equipment for Ukraine, and send financial and humanitarian assistance to Ukraine.  Just do it, here’s a quick guide that’ll help you do it in no time. 
    • If you want to help us translate these guides into as many languages as possible, email Mariya Soroka to get involved at mariya@razomforukraine.org.
  • Join rallies around the world to raise awareness in your community locally, nationally, internationally to demand the world leaders support Ukraine and the public doesn’t take its eyes off the urgency of the situation.  You can find a constantly growing list of rallies here.   
    • Razom volunteers have some big bold ideas for how we can mobilize millions to put pressure on their governments to immediately stand with Ukraine.  Email Mariya Soroka if you want to get involved at mariya@razomforukraine.org 
    • Want to organize a rally? Do it. Share it with Razom and we’ll support you.
  • You can absolutely donate directly to the Ukrainian Army.  It’s pure and simple – heroes never die.   This is where to do it
  • There are many reputable, committed organizations that are raising funds for specific things.  They will give us the power to provide much needed humanitarian aid.  Consider donating to these and passing on to your friends and family as well: 
    • Our Razom Emergency Response fundraiser was created to provide urgent help and support in face of extreme and unforeseen situations in Ukraine.  For example right now, we are purchasing medical supplies for critical situations like blood loss and other tactical medicine items.  First deliveries started to trickle in and most are en route.  So far we’ve been able to use $50,000 of funds raised, and are continuing to work tirelessly to use them as effectively as possible.  
    • Nova Ukraine’s fundraiser for humanitarian aid is engaging donors on the West Coast.  Razom volunteers are collaborating directly with Nova Ukraine’s.
    • Project Kesher supports a network of multigenerational, trained leaders across Eastern Europe.  Like us, they are collecting an Emergency Fund.  
    • Come Back Alive has been supporting Ukrainian soldiers in Eastern Ukraine since 2014, with special emphasis on technical support, training, and medicine.   
    • Support Hospitals in Ukraine have sent over $4.05M in cargo to hospitals since 2014.  They continue their operation to support this key infrastructure in Ukraine at a time of war.
    • Army SOS is yet another great organization supporting Ukrainian soldiers by purchasing necessary ammunition, shields, intercommunication and reconnaissance facilities, uniforms and food supply. 
    • Voices of Children provides psychological and psychosocial support to children affected by hostilities and have been working on the ground in many villages and towns along the front lines in Donetsk and Luhansk regions. 
    • Sunflower of Peace delivers lifesaving backpacks (for second level medical care according to the standards of tactical medicine) to Ukrainian soldiers, civilians, volunteers, and children.
    • Revived Soldiers Ukraine is yet another organization we’re collaborating directly with to send medical supplies as described above.

As always, if you want to donate your time/ energy/ skills/ smarts/ creativity/ ideas/ connections, email Mariya Soroka at mariya@razomforukraine.org.  That’s all it takes to become a Razom volunteer.  We need translators, writers, social media managers, medical specialists, logistics managers, fundraising specialists, people who have experience with refugee crises, and volunteer managers. 

There’s a straight line from the consistency with which Razom is able to connect people who care and do the work to our effectiveness as an organization.  The work isn’t easy and we don’t know what’s in store in the coming days or weeks, but as we stay up day and night for the people in Ukraine, we also look out for each other as Razom volunteers.

In the first 24 hours, while fundraising efforts were gaining full momentum, we connected an impressive team of Razom volunteers and nearly 20 partner organizations (Ukrainian, European, and US) with the expertise and resilience to create channels through which we could safely deliver much-needed goods across the Ukrainian border.  As of today, there’s a trusted corridor between Poland and Ukraine that links two warehouses where life-saving supplies can be stored and distributed further. Meest-America, the trusted package and freight delivery service providing logistics solutions to Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Caucus, offered to fill their plane to the full with humanitarian goods from several organizations, including ours. Flying from Clifton, New Jersey, the first shipment is en route right now. We expect it to reach Ukraine in two days.

Given that the situation on the ground in Ukraine shifts rapidly, it is our hope that the channels we’ve established between the US and Ukraine via Poland will be a route of delivery we are able to repeat on multiple occasions.   

Right now, we are actively looking for contacts with international humanitarian organizations or wholesale companies where we can purchase medical and tactical supplies.  Our logistics network is well developed, but the procurement network needs most urgent support.  If you can connect us to people who work or worked with such organizations or companies, we would be grateful.  You can reach out to us at info@razomforukraine.org.  

The latest supplies we purchased are listed below. Please be aware that not all purchases have made it to Clifton, NJ at the same time so we are working to maintain a consistent green corridor between US, Poland, and Ukraine.

  • 100 disposable resuscitators
  • 90 survival wrap packs
  • 1000+ tourniquets
  • 150 water jel burn dressings
  • 30 abdominal pads
  • 20 woven sterile sponges

We will continue to keep you updated and ensure your donations are well spent.  Our team is working on providing a more detailed list of funds raised and spending. Please bear with us as our volunteers are responding on multiple fronts – media, humanitarian, and more – and are trying our best.

Тримаймося,

Razom For Ukraine



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