The turbulence that we are seeing around the world in recent years and especially today has been a strong reminder that we are also part of a global community.
Though the Helping Hands Initiative is designed to support the local communities of our staff, contractors, partners and customers – there are causes that require support and awareness, such as the current struggles of the Ukrainian people.
UPS Power Solutions’ staff had identified the crisis in Ukraine as an important factor in their lives as it represents the risk to us all when things beyond our control affect us and those we love.
Seeking to do something to help the global charity effort for Ukraine, we turned to our own community and discovered links to NZ-based Ukrainians who are leading the way in supporting the people of their country throughout this invasion.
A close friend to a UPSPS contractor, Olga Middlemiss is originally from Kyiv and has lived in East-Auckland for 17 years.
With family in Kyiv, she says that every day begins and ends with phone calls to family and friends, offering as much emotional support she and her NZ-based family can.
“Luckily, my parents were out of Kyiv in L’viv region when my country was brutally invaded and are safe where they are, becoming a central information hub for all relatives and friends – making sure they check in with everyone. Lots of friends have volunteered into the Territorial Defence [force] and though my 16-year-old nephew was too young, he is helping the elderly and families in bomb shelters,” she says.
Middlemiss and her family have been highly active in offering as much support to her people both in Ukraine and New Zealand by attending protest rallies, engaging with the press to generate awareness and holding their own fundraising events.
Helping to manage direct channels for NZ people and businesses is also a crucial task, ensuring that financial support is provided to those who need it most.
“We’ve established channels to assist different aspects of the crisis at home such as support for hospitals and children, food and supplies for innocent Ukrainians caught up in the conflict, military needs and support for animals and the beautiful environment,” says Middlemiss.
A Helping Hand
With Olga’s help, The Helping Hands Initiative has made a cash donation directly to the people and communities affected by this invasion.
Consistent with Helping Hands supporting communities, we acknowledge the massive detrimental impact this is having on the Ukrainian people and communities both in Ukraine and throughout the world and are proud to be able to help.
Sales & Service Specialist, Trudy Bartrum began the discussion internally at UPS Power Solutions and identified the Ukraine crisis as a global event that needed as much visibility and support as possible.
“This is a global thing; it touches and effects all people in different ways. You don’t have to know people in Ukraine to have it effect you and prompt a need to do something to help. Every little bit would help and it’s important that we can support them and show them that we are aware of what’s happening and are thinking of them and hoping they get through and stay safe,” she says.
The UPSPS team agreed with Bartrum and recognised that it’s just as important to keep talking about what’s happening and maintain awareness of what the Ukrainian people are going through as it is to actively support through donations.
“We hear and we see what is being reported to us through the media however it’s not till you’re on the ground or talking to people who have loved ones in danger in the communities and cities where the fighting is happening, you get to realise how its affecting the people and the families.
“It hurts to know that things like this are happening to normal people who haven’t caused it and don’t deserve it,” says Bartrum.
Beyond our donation from the Helping Hands Initiative, we see that its vitally important to the people of Ukraine that their resistance and community spirit is recognised and celebrated.
Olga Middlemiss is constantly monitoring and reporting what is happening in her home country at a community level. We encourage our extended network to support and shed light on the suffering being endured by Ukraine and its people.
We wish the people of Ukraine strength and solidarity during this crisis and hope that the invasion is resolved quickly and fully so that they can start rebuilding their communities and their beautiful country.
If you’d like to donate to the welfare and support of the Ukrainian people, please click here: http://mahiforukraine.com/donation/
If you’d like to see more of what is happening at local-community level in Ukraine, please try the following links: