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Charities ask people interested in supporting Ukraine to donate money rather than physical items

Over €4 million has been donated to the Irish Red Cross so far to provide humanitarian support to Ukraine.

CHARITIES ARE ENCOURAGING people interested in supporting Ukraine to donate money rather than physical items. 

There are concerns that a deluge of physical donations could put further pressure on transport links and be difficult for humanitarian groups on the ground to distribute. 

Speaking to The Journal, Irish Red Cross’ Head of Fundraising Charlie Lamson said that ”the best way for people to donate is to give funds right now. There is no facility there, because it’s such a fluid situation, to give [physical items]“.

“A lot of people want to give gifts-in-kind, they want to give products and various things,” he said.

“You have to understand that if a thousand trucks are heading into an already a very complicated situation, that’s just going to make it worse, so we’re discouraging people from doing that.” 

Over €4 million has been donated to the Irish Red Cross so far to provide humanitarian support to Ukraine.

A spokesperson for the organisation confirmed to The Journal that it has received around €4.2 million as of yesterday since its appeal opened last week to support people affected in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.

Lamson described the outpouring of support as “profound”.

“People are looking for what to do and we’re in a unique position to be able to facilitate that,” Lamson said.

“The money is then in turn going directly through the International Federation of the Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross are then channelling that money directly to the Ukrainian Red Cross, as well as to Red Cross societies in neighbouring countries,” he said.

That includes Poland, Moldova, Romania, Hungary and other locations in surrounding countries.

“We’re looking at 5 million potential refugees coming out of the situation. We’re looking at a massive humanitarian crisis,” he said.

Yesterday, Ireland’s Charities Regulator advised people to check any donations they send are given to a properly registered charity.

Helen Martin, the regulator’s chief executive, said that the “outpouring of support from Ireland for the Ukrainian people has been immense and underscores the inherent generosity and compassion of the Irish people”.

“Members of the public are seeking to show their support in any way possible and are doing so in numerous ways. But we would ask them to give with their head, as well as their hearts,” Martin said.

It is essential that any member of the public that might wish to raise funds or provide other forms of assistance to Ukraine and its citizens, links to an existing registered charity that has an established organisational framework in place and experience of working in high-risk and dangerous environments.

“This will help ensure that donations go directly to those most in need.”

You can check whether a particular charity is on the Register of Charities here.

Dóchas, the Irish association of development NGOs, has compiled a list of organisations with open appeals to support Ukraine: 

CEO of Dóchas, Jane-Ann McKenna said that as the conflict and the number of people displaced by it increase, “the need for urgent humanitarian assistance is growing by the hour”.

“Irish organisations are working on the ground, in Ukraine and border countries, including Poland and Romania, supporting families fleeing the conflict, and responding to their immediate needs,” McKenna said.

“Irish people have shown great generosity and solidarity with the people of Ukraine. We encourage people to provide donations to organisations who are working on the ground with emergency response teams in Ukraine or in border countries,” she said.

“Donating money, rather than physical items, allows organisations to source relief items locally, ensuring quality and quick delivery to those who need them.”

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