The God Squad: Do something
First let us pray: Dear God, shelter them in the cover of your wings. Bring them to safe harbor in the storm and protect them from the evil that is suffocating them. Give them hope that it is your will to see all evil Pharaohs defeated and freedom become the legacy of all your children.
Then … give.
Father Tom Hartman and I spent long hours warning people of good will to be as careful in donating their wealth as they were in acquiring it. To that end, we have always relied on organizations like Charity Watch and Charity Navigator to provide a carefully researched list of efficient and honest charities. The charities listed below are top-rated by CharityWatch for spending at least 75 percent of their cash budgets on programs; for maintaining fundraising efficiency of $25 or less to raise each $100 in cash donations; and for meeting CharityWatch's governance and transparency benchmarks.
Team Rubicon and their organization, including physicians, is in Poland meeting with WHO, USAID and UNOCHA to coordinate support as the situation continues to unfold in Ukraine.
Mercy Corps is on the ground in Romania and Poland, assessing the most urgent humanitarian needs in Ukraine and the region. They anticipate providing cash assistance, as well as supporting local organizations that know the community's needs best.
Lutheran World Relief is responding to families in crisis. Their teams are reaching out to local organizations that have direct access inside Ukraine and who are welcoming refugees fleeing to neighboring countries.
HIAS is closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine and neighboring countries and is responding with emergency humanitarian assistance to those who are displaced.
Church World Service is responding to meet the needs emerging from the crisis, though many details remain unknown. Their staff and partners in Europe are carefully monitoring the unfolding emergency. They are in deep conversation with their teams who work with migrants and refugees in Balkan nations, their local partners in the region, and international coalitions to assess emerging needs and to create response plans accordingly.
Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres) is working to set up emergency response activities in the country and dispatching teams to Poland, Moldova, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia. Teams are also ready to respond in Russia and Belarus. In the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, teams have distributed medical kits to treat war-wounded people. The charity has also provided telemedicine training for trauma care for 30 surgeons from eastern Ukraine.
Care USA is aiming to reach 4 million people with immediate emergency assistance, such as food, water, hygiene kits, psychological support, and cash assistance to aid families in Ukraine who are fleeing violence, and is prioritizing women and girls, families, and the elderly.
Catholic Relief Services is providing shelter, hot meals, and transport to safe areas for people experiencing violence in Ukraine, as well as hygiene supplies, fuel to keep warm, counseling support and more.
Direct Relief & Direct Relief Foundation recently announced that it will commit $500,000 to support health efforts in Ukraine and surrounding countries absorbing refugees fleeing the violence and disruption. The organization is also in communication with regional organizations to coordinate medical support for refugee communities. Direct Relief is making its inventory of medical aid available and has humanitarian channels in Europe for further response.
International Rescue Committee is working to quickly mobilize resources that will provide life-saving support to civilians forced to flee their homes. Their teams are on the ground in Poland, and they are working with their local partners in both Poland and Ukraine. IRC will work to respond where they are needed the most and with the services that are needed urgently.
Medical Teams International is working with its partners to determine a response. As the humanitarian needs in the region become clearer in the coming days and weeks, Medical Teams International will communicate the nature of its initial response and how people can help.
Operation USA is mobilizing to provide material aid support to groups providing on-the-ground support to refugees in Poland and nearby countries. At this time, they are calling on existing partnerships, as well as establishing new frontline partners, to expedite the delivery of aid where it is needed most.
Project Hope initial response involves more than two tons of essential medicines and medical supplies that are being actively shipped to affected areas. Project Hope is focused on providing health and humanitarian assistance to Ukrainians, including refugees in neighboring countries fleeing the ongoing invasion. They are in contact with the WHO Health Cluster and other partners on the ground in Ukraine, who have already noted critical needs in primary health care.
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the humanitarian relief arm of Global Ministries, is in communication with partners in the region and actively exploring the coordination of humanitarian response in Ukraine.
My personal choices are HIAS and Catholic Relief Services.
(Send ALL QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS to The God Squad via email at email@example.com. Rabbi Gellman is the author of several books, including “Religion for Dummies,” co-written with Fr. Tom Hartman.)
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