Valkenswaard, March 2022 - It is difficult to take in what is currently happening in the world and what the impact will be. As forces move deeper into Ukraine, it's becoming increasingly clear that this invasion is only the beginning of a war with deep and long-lasting consequences. The people of Ukraine are in the midst of a humanitarian crisis, and we want to offer our help.
This has nothing to do with a struggle between Ukrainians and Russians. This is about freedom and human rights, plain and simple. There's a war going on, and we can't just sit and watch.
How can we support our fellow human beings, fleeing from a war that is even now claiming their homes and livelihoods, and how can we provide them with a warm welcome and safe haven somewhere else in the world? Read along to find out what we did to help, and how you can support the people of Ukraine.
Our special operation: Abstraction for Ukraine
Remaining neutral is just not an option here. The way we see it, on one hand you have real people in an actual crisis, and on the other you have spectators and speculators who are offering opinions rather than solutions. We want to offer the latter.
"There’s no way around us getting involved somehow, so we might as well direct our own involvement and try becoming one of the guiding lights in this mess. We would want others to help us if someday we find ourselves in dire need."
- Ralph Egas, CEO Abstraction
Starting with supplies
As a no-borders company, we have been uniting people with different cultures, from different parts of the world for years. As a result, we have been able to experience first-hand how this kind of inclusivity can enrich an organization. So, when we were approached by a Ukrainian company - in the middle of moving to Warsaw, because of the current threat in Ukraine - we offered our help. They had managed to get their people out, but a lot of the equipment had to stay behind, and they were in need of hardware to start over. We immediately checked our stock and came up with +/- €6.000 worth of hardware to provide them with - and that's not all.
Setting an example
Thanks to the hard work of our talented employees, we were able to make a €15.000 donation to the Red Cross. To encourage our employees to be a part of this personally as well, we set up an additional internal fundraiser. Any amount raised by our staff will be doubled by Abstraction and donated - on top of the already donated €15.000 - to the Red Cross in order to help improve the situation in Ukraine.
Lastly, we've joined Fanatical in a great industry initiative. A charity bundle of 50+ Steam games including our very own '8-bit Adventure Anthology', from which all proceeds go to the Ukrainian Red Cross. It was a great success. After being sold out within hours of the launch, we had raised $159,262 (all together) for the Ukraine Red Cross. Click the button below for more information on the 'Stand with Ukraine Charity Bundle'.
We made it our special operation to do everything within our power to support the people of Ukraine. Hopefully we’ve inspired you to join our operation and do the same.
Join our special operation: 6 ways to support Ukraine
For those that want to support Ukraine, but don’t know how, we’ve set up a list of things you can do to help, as well as a few organizations to consider:
1. Ask questions
Start with the people around you. If you know someone from Ukraine or anyone who has family there, simply ask what you can do for them. This way you can often quickly - and perhaps immediately - improve a situation.
Friends and family aside, the entire country is in need of help. Organizations such as the Red Cross specialize in offering support and have started fundraisers such as Giro555 to provide assistance in various forms. You can make donations on their website via the links below, but you can also use the Giro555 website to start your own online fundraiser - allowing you to easily invite your own network to donate as well.
Make a donation to the Red Cross
3. Send humanitarian supplies
Below you'll find a map of the Netherlands, which tells you where organizations are collecting humanitarian goods. Click on a place near you and find out how you can donate or visit their website.
My Google Maps, by Sanne van der Avoird
If your area is not listed in the map above, it's best to follow local news to find out if similar initiatives have been set up in your area. Or you can make a donation in order to supply humanitarian goods via the Red Cross.
4. Open your house to Ukrainian people
Thousands of people are currently fleeing the war. Some of them have relations in neighboring countries, but most have nowhere to go. If you have a room to spare that you would like to make available, please sign up for one of the initiatives below.
5. Hire Ukrainian people
A lot of hardworking people are forced to flee their country without knowing where they’ll land and how to support themselves on arrival. If your company offers remote job opportunities, visa sponsorships, and/or relocation support, this is your chance to help out. Reach out to your network, or post your open vacancies at one of the websites below:
Post a job on 'Jobs for Ukraine'
Post a job on 'Job Aid Ukraine'
6. Become a volunteer
To provide immediate assistance, you can also sign up as a volunteer. Below are some organizations that are committed to supporting Ukraine and are always looking for members.
Visit 'Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland'
Stand together, #StandWithUkraine
"As an industry, we need to show solidarity with whoever wants to play that game of kindness. This is the time to show our true colors, be kind and go beyond boundaries."
- Ralph Egas, CEO Abstraction
More than ever, it is important to represent a united front. First to show our support, but also to let the world know that Ukraine is not standing alone. Through this article we would like to invite you and your company to join our special operation. Let's stand together, #StandWithUkraine.