On the Ground in Ukraine: Impact & Needs Update

Ukraine Disaster Relief Response

Since 2022, Greater Good Charities has been on the ground in Ukraine funding relief efforts and supporting communities. As the winter approaches and the temperatures continue to plummet, we are still there working alongside our partners delivering millions of meals to families and their hungry pets and building and reinforcing shelters for animals facing the cold, harsh weather. 

The food insecurity for both people and pets is so intense that often as soon as food is delivered, it’s quickly depleted, and our partners are anxiously awaiting the next delivery so they can supply those in need. Thanks to the support of sponsors and donors, the deliveries continue.

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We are excited to be able to give you a behind the scenes look at the work we have been doing, thanks to your generous donations.  

After full scale invasion, Greater Good Charities supported not only refugees, but also, internally displaced people in Ukraine and we continue to support people living in contested areas. To date, some of the aid we have provided includes:  

  • Over 16,000 relief boxes 
  • Over 11 million meals 
  • Over 40,000 blankets 
  • Over 31.6 million pet meals 
  • 56 Water tanks — supplying 15,000 people with clean drinking water 
  • 8,000 hygiene kits 
  • 20,000 pounds of bee pollen
  • More than 500 queen bees and 500 hives
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Photo © Greater Good Charities
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Photo © Greater Good Charities

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Photo © Greater Good Charities

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Photo © Oro Whitley

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Photo © Oro Whitley


What is Greater Good Charities doing for animal welfare efforts in Ukraine?
One of our amazing partners, United for Animals, has 23 coordinators in major cities in Ukraine, with each coordinator supporting 20-30 volunteers each. These volunteers work to feed stray animals and support shelter pets, totaling over 10,000 homeless animals in their care. Currently we are working on a response to supply dog houses for Ukrainian strays, and helping shelters adapt to an extremely cold winter.

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Photo © Oro Whitley

What are the most pressing needs and challenges in Ukraine right now?
The bombing and air raids have intensified, and the temperature is already freezing and continues to get colder. People are still living in temporary accommodations because their housing has been bombed and is still in tatters. Pets have been abandoned as people flee to safety, and there is a need to keep pets safe through the winter and control the pet populations, so they do not overwhelm the community. 

As it continues to get colder, we will need more things to protect people and animals from the cold. The number of requests for food and aid continues to be overwhelming, so much so, we must turn some away due to finite resources. Our most pressing need is to get people and animals safely through the winter and keep them fed. 

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Photo © Oro Whitley

How has the Russian Invasion shifted daily lives on a day-to-day basis?
Galina, our partner at United for Animals, shared her experience of the day she realized she was living in a war zone. Her and her family were sitting in their garden reading the newspaper when she read an article that Russia had invaded Ukraine, she couldn’t believe it. That is, until she started hearing strange sounds. She looked up and saw over 60 tanks drive right by her house and as she watched the soldiers passing by, they turned and looked directly at her, and she knew they were seeing her and her family. At that moment, she knew that the war was at her house. Not just in her country, but in her home.  

Galina’s story is like that of so many Ukrainians. Their lives will never be the same. The lives of animals will never be the same. But in her words “all we can do is stay here and try to help people and animals… It’s a very difficult time for warriors for animals and it’s very important to help right now.” 

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How can our community of supporters start thinking about long-term sustainability for Ukrainians?
Right now, it’s about getting through winter, we are responding to disaster and the food insecurity is massive. The east and south of Ukraine is still fully mined and farmers cannot produce food for themselves because it’s taking their lives. To address food insecurity, the fields will need to be de-mined so farmers can begin producing food and providing for their families and communities.  

Regarding long-term animal welfare, one of the solutions is to spay and neuter. Greater Good Charities successfully conducted 2 clinics and spayed over 1,400 animals. Continuing to make sure we are caring for animals and controlling the population is critical to begin addressing the food insecurity issues for both people and animals.  

Have donations to Ukraine decreased or have they remained robust?
Unfortunately, there are many disasters in the world, that news organizations do not often stay on one story for long, and most news media has moved on to other tragedies. As the media moves on, so do the donations. Donations to Ukraine disaster relief have decreased. However, Ukraine has seen an increase in bombing and air raids, so there is a pressure for funding, not just for Greater Good Charities, but for our community partners in Ukraine as well. There is a desperate need for continued support and for us to continue to stand alongside these brave and community-minded people that we have the privilege to support.  

We are so thankful for the support from our donors and partners who have made this work possible. If you would like to continue to support our efforts in Ukraine, there are many ways to continue to bring support. Sharing this article, our Give Good Catalog, or engaging with us on social media helps bring awareness to others for the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.  

If you would like to donate, these are the current initiatives we have going in Ukraine:

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