Support for Ukraine
Funds are normally the most useful donation you can make, particularly when giving to charities with experience of operating in crisis zones.
There are many reputable non-profit organisations, with the expertise to give on the ground support to those most in need. The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) www.dec.org.uk brings together 15 leading aid charities from across the UK to raise funds quickly and efficiently. There are also two leading Scottish charities SCIAF www.sciaf.org.uk and MercyCorps https://europe.mercycorps.org/ who are running fundraising appeals.
Donating essential supplies
Delivering items directly to areas in crisis should only be done by organisations with a lot of experience in this area. It comes with a wide range of risks and difficulties including export regulations, fair distribution issues, significant costs and safety risks for the people involved.
If you choose to donate items to local appeals, only donate what is being asked for such as first aid supplies, new clothes and sanitary supplies. Dealing with unneeded items can draw volunteers away from working on activities which are most helpful to those in need.
If you have good quality, re-usable items at home that aren’t currently needed, why not sell them locally or online and donate that money to an appeal.
Some local appeals have now closed – Blythwsood in Lewis have one running until Saturday 12th March.
Getting involved with voluntary and community groups allows you to help others. It could be raising funds for humanitarian appeals, gathering essential items for families in need in your local area, or supporting refugees in other ways.
Connecting with local community groups to lend a hand is a great way to offer support, and there are also routes into more formal volunteering.
You could register with Volunteer Centre Western Isles www.volunteercentrewi.org / https://www.facebook.com/Volunteer-Centre-Western-Isles-Lewis-109240205826891/ for information on local volunteering opportunities. You might not be needed straight away, but by being registered you’ll be the first to hear when there are opportunities.
Donate with care
Research the charities that you are considering for any type of donation to ensure you know where and how donations will be used.
For more information:
- Ready Scotland’s guide to Playing Your Part in your local community – https://ready.scot/get-involved/playing-your-part
- OSCR’s guide to giving safely to support Ukraine – www.oscr.org.uk/guidance-and-forms/ukraine-guidance-from-the-scottish-charity-regulator
- Distribute Aid’s guide to shipping humanitarian aid between the UK and EU – https://distributeaid.org/docs/brexit-vs-humanitarian-aid.pdf