How to Help Ukrainians Seeking Refuge in the U.S.

Editor’s Note: Philanthropy Roundtable is providing a list of organizations offering assistance to Ukrainians fleeing violence in that country and seeking refuge in the United States. However, please be aware the Roundtable has not vetted all of these organizations, and we simply list them here for your review and consideration.  

In an effort to welcome up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees to the U.S., the Biden administration this week is launching “Uniting for Ukraine,” a “streamlined process for Ukrainian citizens who have been displaced by Russia’s aggression to apply for humanitarian parole.” Charitable organizations will be instrumental in offering assistance to Ukrainians arriving in this country in the coming weeks and months – and will help provide services such as housing, food, English lessons and employment. In a companion to our first blog on how to donate to Ukrainians who need help on the ground, Philanthropy Roundtable has compiled a list of organizations that are providing relief here at home. 

AirBnB.org

Airbnb.org is funding short-term housing for up to 100,000 people fleeing Ukraine. The public can help by offering temporary stays for free or at a discount through the website, or by donating money to fund stays. All donations for this effort “will go toward connecting people with short term housing, stays are completely free for guests of the program [and] donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed under your local tax laws.”

Church World Service

Church World Service has helped welcome Ukrainian refugees to the U.S. for over a decade as part of its effort to address the global refugee crisis – and will continue to do so as more Ukrainians arrive in this country. “As one of nine U.S. resettlement agencies, CWS continues to fight for a robust system through which the world’s most vulnerable — whether from Ukraine, Afghanistan, Tigray, Syria, Burma or beyond — can access pathways to rebuild their lives in peace.”

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society

Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, a global Jewish nonprofit, “works around the world to protect refugees who have been forced to flee their homelands because of who they are, including ethnic, religious and sexual minorities. For more than 130 years, HIAS has been helping refugees rebuild their lives in safety and dignity.” The organization is closely involved in the resettlement process, and stands ready to assist displaced Ukrainians, along with partners in the American Jewish community.

International Rescue Committee

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is working with local partners, including 25 offices across the U.S., to assist newly arrived Ukrainian refugees by providing immediate aid, including food, housing and medical attention. Each resettlement office serves as a free, one-stop center for refugees’ needs during their pivotal first months in this country. Through a network of staff members and volunteers, the IRC helps refugees learn about life and customs in America, secure jobs, learn English and become citizens. Refugees are encouraged to find work quickly and stand on their own feet — and most do. Refugees even pay back the loans they take for their plane tickets here. 

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service 

The Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) stands with and advocates for immigrants and refugees, transforming communities through ministries of service and justice. For 80 years, the organization has offered welcome and hope to more than half a million refugees. LIRS is working closely with local communities to foster voluntary action to support Ukrainian refugees resettling in the U.S. and “will keep volunteers informed of the most pressing needs, such as airport pick-ups, apartment set ups, transportation and other critical services.” Those who are interested in volunteering can find more information here.

Ukraine Take Shelter

Ukraine Take Shelter is “an independent platform helping to connect Ukrainian refugees with potential hosts and housing.” The platform, created by Harvard students Avi Schiffmann and Marco Burstein, matches Ukrainian refugees who need to find shelter with potential hosts. This “stripped down version of AirBnB” showcases entrepreneurial thinking and private, voluntary action. 

Additional advising on this topic is available to members of the Roundtable donor community. Please contact programs@philanthropyroundtable.org for further information. 

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