When considering making a donation or lending a hand, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Before you think about what to donate, take a look at what is needed. Most organisations publish lists of the items or type of support they need or share these via volunteers, and these needs may change over time, so you should check these to make sure your help is effective.
If you’re giving material donations, organise them as best you can to help save volunteers time on logistics – for example by using separate, labelled bags for clothing for different ages, for medicines, and food. Make sure you aren’t donating food that’s past its best before date or clothing which is soiled or unsuitable for the season.
This list includes some of the well-established organisations and charities in Austria and further afield, which have long been working with people in Ukraine and/or with refugees arriving to Austria. There may also be people in your local area who are working directly and independently to support refugees.
If you give money to an individual claiming to be helping, do what you can to verify they are legitimate, because unfortunately scammers may take advantage of a crisis. Austria’s Interior Ministry advises against bringing supplies to the borders of Ukraine or into Ukraine yourself, instead recommending making donations to recognised aid organisations to ensure the items that are actually needed get there.
International and Austria-wide organisations
Supporting Ukrainian media: Reporters and journalists on the ground in Ukraine are working under extreme condition to keep their population and the world updated on the war.
Several media partners and media support organisations across Europe have organised a fundraiser on GoFundMe to support the country’s independent media, and you can also donate directly to independent news organisation the Kyiv Independent.
Voices of Children is a Ukrainian organisation which supports children affected by war, in particular through psychological support.
The charity Caritas is distributing food and fuel supplies, and a €25 donation provides an emergency aid package.
The Red Cross is also supporting people in Ukraine with much-needed supplies and you can send a donation.
SOS Kinderdorf has been active in the region for over 20 years giving support for children.
And the NGO Doctors Without Borders has an Austrian branch, where you can donate to support their efforts in Ukraine.
Host a displaced person from Ukraine
The war has turned hundreds of thousands of people into refugees overnight, and one way to help is to offer accommodation if you can.
The Elinor network as well as Facebook groups such as Host a Sister (international) and the German-language group Wohnraum für die flüchtende Ukrainer*innen/ житло для бiжинцiв з Украïни have been used to find accommodation for displaced people, as well as Austrian Facebook groups for international residents.
However, in Austria, there is now a nationwide coordination centre which you can email at [email protected] to indicate that you have space. If you host a refugee, ask Austrian authorities about information you can give them about the process for registration in Austria.
It might be crucial for them to be registered as a refugee in order to receive necessary help, including medical care, and avoid them falling through any bureaucratic gaps.
Train of Hope – organisation supporting refugees in Austria and asking for donations. On their Facebook page they are asking for donations to provide accommodation for refugees, which is being provided at cost price by a Vienna hotel.
St Barbara’s Church, a Ukrainian church in central Vienna, is also collecting donations. There is currently no information on their website about the collection, but volunteers on the site are collecting a range of items including medicines and food.
Salzburg’s Polish Cultural Association has been coordinating donations to be sent to Austria’s border with Poland, with updated regularly shared on their social media platforms.
The organisation Flüchtlinge – Willkommen in Salzburg is also sharing updates on how you can help in the city.
The Ukrainischer Kulturverein in Graz (Ukrainian Cultural Association) has organised an anti-war demonstration in the city and is collecting donations.
Join demonstrations to show your support
Demonstrations in solidarity with Ukraine are being held across the country, and these are a way to show your local Ukrainian community that they have support (and people in Ukraine, since the reports of international demonstrations will reach them too), as well as to put pressure on Austrian lawmakers to continue doing what they can to support Ukrainians.
What is The Local doing?
In the wake of Russia’s invasion, accurate information is more important than ever. But journalists working in the country are facing unprecedented challenges.
As a result, media partners across Europe are joining forces to give Ukrainian outlets all the financial, operational and technical support they need at a very difficult time.
The Local is convinced that this solidarity with Ukraine is not just right but crucial, and thanks to the support of our members we are happy to be able to make a €20,000 donation to the fundraiser.
If you would like to know more about efforts to help Ukrainian media – or want to help out yourself – please check out the following link.
Fact-checking and raising awareness
Alongside actively supporting the victims of the violence and displacement, one way everyone can help is by being a responsible user of social media. Try to verify the source of any information you share and avoid sharing unconfirmed reports. The Ukrainian government has asked everyone to avoid sharing photos or videos showing Ukrainian troops to avoid revealing their location.
By sharing verified information about the war and the ways that people can help from Austria and/or other places where you have ties to, you can help raise awareness.
Anything we’ve missed?
If you’re organising aid for Ukraine or think we’ve missed something important in this article, please let us know by emailing [email protected].