As war carries on in Ukraine and tragic news hits us each day, it can feel like there isn’t enough that can be done from here.
But, in addition to making donations and supporting local Ukrainian businesses, New Yorkers can join forces with other NYC establishments who have come up with their own ways to help…even thousands of miles away.
From fundraising efforts to more symbolic gestures to show solidarity with the Ukrainian people, here are ways you can help from New York and how NYC businesses are taking action:
1. Visit the new East Village mural “Ukraine: A History in Solidarity” (and donate to UNWLA)
This beautiful new mural in the East Village depicts Ukraine’s rich history & strength, and was painted by the full community this past weekend. Located at a new Citizens Bank branch on 9th St. and Second Ave., the bank will be matching $25,000 in donations made to the East Village-based women-led organization UNWLA (Ukrainian National Womens League of America), which has been raising funds to aid Ukrainian refugees.
A QR code next to the work lets passersby hear Tyutyunik speak about his work directly and easily donate themselves to UNWLA. Read more here.
2-5. Donate to fundraising efforts at Ukrainian restaurants
With an influx of business from New Yorkers wanted to show their solidarity, many Ukrainian-owned businesses in NYC have added a donation or fundraising effort to their daily service to help support the people of Ukraine. For example:
- At the East Village’s iconic Veselka, 100% of proceeds from boscht sales either in-store or for take-out will go to Ukraine aid.
- Also, Veselka is serving as a drop-off point for physical donations that will be sent to Ukraine. Requested items include: first-aid kits, energy bars, new socks and underwear, sleeping bags, and more. See the full list below.
- The Ukrainian-owned WoW Bouquet in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn is donating 10% of all sales to help families abroad (the owners were born & raised in Ukraine and the bulk of their customers are Ukrainian)
- On their Facebook, Golden Leo has created an Amazon list that people can order from of medical supplies that the restaurant will ship to people in need in Ukraine. See here for more information.
- Rondel is also using the same Amazon list as Golden Leo to help support Ukraine. Find the Amazon list here.
6-7. Attend a benefit dinner
There are a few different formal fundraising events going on this month in NYC. They are:
An Evening for Ukraine by NYC Moms for a Cause
NYC Moms for a Cause and the Ukrainian Institute of America are hosting a cocktail fundraiser showcasing Ukrainian culture and benefiting Razom for Ukraine’s urgent humanitarian relief efforts in Ukraine this April. It will be held on April 12 from 6:30-9:00 p.m. and feature Singing by Ukrainian Village Voices, Pysanky display and live demonstration by Sofika, Ukrainian folk dancing, silent auction, heavy canapes and flowing drinks. 100% of proceeds will support Razom’s work providing aid for displaced families, medical supplies, and on-the-ground relief.Find out more here.
A Fundraising Dinner for Ukraine by the Institute of Culinary Education
The Institute of Culinary Education (ICE) is hosting four-course tasting menu with wine pairings, created by some of NYC’s top chefs. All proceeds excluding sales tax and fees will be donated to World Central Kitchen, which is working on the front lines to help feed Ukrainian refugees. The event will take place on April 25 at ICE’s New York City Campus (225 Liberty Street) at 6 p.m.Find out more here.
8. Order this Ukrainian cycling shirt from a local shop, with proceeds going to charity
The East Village-based athletic bikewear designer Ostroy has designed a special jersey highlighting Ukrainian colors and Veselka’s logo. They are working with the restaurant to support humanitarian organization Razom for Ukraine. You can preorder the jersey here, with all proceeds being donated to the organization. They should arrive in mid to late March.
9. Pre-order this a new Ukrainian cookbook, which Rizzoli Bookstore is donating proceeds from
New York publisher & bookstore Rizzoli is publishing a book by Ukrainian chef and blogger Anna Voloshyna this September. If you pre-order BUDMO!: Recipes from a Ukrainian Kitchen between now and June 1, they will donate 10% of all proceeds to World Central Kitchen, “who is on the front lines feeding countless refugees, and is Anna’s preferred charity.” You can preorder the cookbook here.
10. Patronize Russian restaurants who are supporting Ukraine
Sadly, many local Russian restaurants in NYC have seen a steep decrease in business since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began, even when many of the owners support Ukraine or are Ukrainian themselves (along with their staff). They’ve been making their views clear with different efforts, like Russian Samovar in Midtown, which has held multiple fundraisers for Ukraine. They have also updated their website and signs in their windows to display loyalty to Ukraine.
Some other inspiring efforts businesses & New Yorkers have made:
“Cook for Ukraine” fundraisers
Chefs came together earlier this month to launch “Cook for Ukraine,” a food-centered fundraising effort to contribute to UNICEF’s children’s charity. Local shops are hosting bake sales (like Greenpoint’s Archestratus Books + Food). And the Eastern European Brooklyn pop-up Dacha 46 is working with NYC chefs to sell pastry boxes with a collection of goods to raise money for different Ukrainian non-profits and even to “activists that are based in Poland assisting with the safe relocation of BIPOC & Queer & disabled refugees.” See more here.
The East Village’s “Soviet-themed” KGB Bar swapped Russian alcohol for Ukrainian
KGB Bar in the East Village — a “Soviet-themed” space that has been a literary haven for New York writers since 1993 — has decided to stop selling Russian alcohol in order to show solidarity with Ukraine, according to LES news & lifestyle site Bowery Boogie.
Their Russian Baltika Beer has been swapped out for the Ukrainian beer Obolon, and their three dozen cases of Russian vodka have been replaced by Ukrainian brands like Khor, Shevkoff, and Ukrainian Heritage. Read more about it here.
Balthazar donated proceeds from dinner last week to UNICEF’s Protect Children in Ukraine
On Tuesday, March 8, SoHo brasserie Balthazar donated all of their earnings from their dinner service to UNICEF’s Protect Children in Ukraine, which amounted to a staggering $50,000. A longtime customer also matched the donation, so $100,000 is going toward the charity.