Ukrainians are putting stickers specifying blood type on their children and signs saying “Get out of my home” in Russian on their doors. They’re being bombed. They’re fleeing senseless violence on foot. Some have lost their lives. With news like this, it’s hard to do business as usual. We want our workday to counter these injustices. But how? Following are several options.
- Reach out via email or social media to Ukrainian employees, clients, suppliers and other business contacts to ask how you can help. Because their countries also face the threat of war and are already managing a refugee crisis, you might want to add Poles, Moldovans, Hungarians, Romanians and Slovakians to the list of business contacts to reach out to.
- Invite team members to attend an anti-war protest with you. Your employer might even have a paid-time-off policy covering this activity. Unlike other societal issues, opposing Russia’s invasion is not a divisive stand in the Western world (as of now, anyway). Why not make protesting an official team-building activity? Imagine how energizing it would be for your team members to make signs and march together. A Google search will identify protests near you.
- Do business with Ukrainian companies and citizens. A stronger Ukrainian economy will aid the country’s fight. Need a programmer? Google, Oracle, Facebook, Amazon, eBay and many other brands use Ukraine’s considerable tech talent. Need a corporate gift? Consider Purcari’s Freedom Blend wine. Although the winery is in Moldova, it uses Ukrainian grapes and is currently doubling as a refugee camp.
- Invite coworkers to join you in donating to GlobalGiving’s Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund or other reputable charity. Your employer might even match your donations.
- Ask your company to exercise its relevant capacity to help. Your employer might have the ability to support Ukrainians in a unique way. For example, the oil behemoth BP announced it will give up its $14 billion stake in Rosneft, a Russian state-controlled energy company. This act is poignant because BP is Russia’s largest foreign investor and Putin was so proud of this partnership that he personally attended its launch in 2003. SpaceX, on the other hand, activated Starlink satellite internet service in Ukraine to counter the Russian military’s digital destruction. To alleviate financial hardship, Etsy canceled all balances owed by sellers in Ukraine and Verizon waved fees on calls in and out of the country. Please don’t conclude from these examples that only multinationals can do good. The New York retailer Premier Group, for example, removed Vodka and other Russian products from the shelves and is directing customers to purchase Ukrainian alternatives instead.
- Find another way. If none of the above actions work for you, keep looking! This Global Citizen post shares how we can support Ukraine by strengthening its independent journalism, advocating on social media and engaging in other actions.
May we all find a way to tilt our workweek toward supporting Ukrainians.