5 Simple Acts Of Kindness Giving Ukrainians (And The World) Some Hope

The world is coming together to help Ukrainians – on the borders and at home.
Ukrainian refugees on the Polish border are receiving a warm welcome.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Ukrainian refugees on the Polish border are receiving a warm welcome.

The current news cycle around war in Ukraine is very distressing. The world is watching on as millions of Ukrainians flee their country to safety, while many more have no choice but to hold tight where they are, taking to basements and bunkers and underground stations to shield from Russian attacks.

Though it’s difficult to watch, it’s times like this when the world comes together for the sake of humanity. From booking up AirBnBs in Ukraine to ensure owners have money coming in to offering Ukrainian refugees food, lifts and rooms at the borders, these are the acts of kindness that are giving the world hope right now.

(And if you want to help from the UK, please read our guide to how you can)

1) Free rooms and lifts at the Polish border

When Ukrainians began to flee their towns and cities, the traffic on roads out of the country quickly backed up for miles – with many people forced to get out and walk miles more to the border.

Now the queues of cars are on the other side of that border, as people from all over Europe drive to Poland to give arriving refugees a lift and some shelter. As this ITV report makes clear these are “families arriving in their cars with the offer of a room” from Germany, Holland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and more.

2) Everyone with the essentials

Many refugees have left their homes in a hurry with very limited belongings, maybe a suitcase, not much more. They have queued for hours at the border, so they are hungry. It is still winter and cold, so they need warm clothing. And locals are offering them these essential supplies at every turn, as in this donation point near Warsaw below.

This photo was shared by Chris York, a freelance UK journalist who recently crossed the Polish border at Lviv with his Ukrainian girlfriend, Yaryna, an experience he wrote about movingly in this article. The couple are now fundraising for supplies for the thousands of Ukranians who are still crossing – and yet to cross. You can donate to their GoFundMe relief fund here.

3) A warm welcome with flowers

Germany has also opened its borders to Ukrainian refugees, many of whom are arriving at Berlin’s central railway station, where huge crowds of Germans welcomed them with flowers, hugs and tears – and a bed to stay in.

It’s clear to see that this city feels the pain of Ukrainians, with relief efforts also up and running specifically to welcome BIPOC and LGBTQ+ refugees.

4) Supplies from the Sikh community

Ukraine also borders on Hungary, where volunteers from Khalsa Aid, a UK-based, Sikh run humanitarian relief organisation are offering food to student refugees.

Charity is central to Sikh culture and religion, especially in the form of nourishing food – as anyone who has enjoyed langar at their local Gurdwara will know. Khalsa have also organised similar efforts in Moldova and on the Polish border.

5) Airbnb bookings for the win

Even those who aren’t anywhere near Ukraine or its borders are finding ways to help. Travellers have been booking Airbnbs in Ukraine (which they have no hope of staying in) as a way of sending money to locals. The idea was shared by a Twitter user and just hours later hundreds of people had got involved.

As Twitter user Sarah Archer explains: “Booked a weekend in Kyiv on [Airbnb]. Pick closest date, random apartment run by an individual not a company, book, pay and send a message of support while telling them you’re a no show.”

And Ukrainians are responding with emotional messages back.

“You can’t even imagine how pleased we are to hear that we are not alone, tears in our eyes,” wrote one Airbnb host in response. “I am very grateful to you for tour support in this difficult time for us and all of Ukraine.”