I have never been one to sleep late, and on many summer days I start my day long before the sun is up – most days around 4 or 5 a.m. Not a bad thing, as I occasionally catch radio programs that I might otherwise miss. Saturday morning on my “local” radio station, KBYU, I listened to a Top of Mind show called Humanitarian Aid: How to Help Without Doing Harm. The opening part of the show is about the organisation called To Ukraine With Love. They are located in Oregon, and have fundraised, purchased, and organised the delivery of everything from body armor to baby food to Ukraine.  This organisation definitely gets my vote as a charity doing good work. If you are thinking about donating to Ukraine, visit their site and see what they are doing.

The show goes on to more interviews- one segment with Pippa Biddle, author of the book “Ours to Explore: Privilege, Power and the Paradox of Voluntourism.” The book is about volunteering and “voluntourism” and their impacts, and brings up a couple of important questions: how much good is the effort truly doing, and why are we doing it- to help or to make ourselves feel good?  Good questions, and the answer seems to be that volunteering close to home is best, if time is what you can give. In the end, donating money is always the best for all charities- it allows them to purchase exactly what they need, exactly when it is most needed.

There is also a guest from the University of Pennsylvania, Kat Rosqueta, from the Center for High Impact Philanthropy. Their mission is to make sure donations “make the greatest possible difference in the lives of others,” that, from their “what we do” page.

Finally, Guidestar is a website where you can research non-profits and charities before you donate.  Another site I have used for this is Charity Navigator.

All of these sites can help a person negotiate the sometimes confusing realm of making donations to charity, and perhaps volunteering if one has the time. For now, if you can, every dollar sent to Ukraine will help them. My top donation list is in the upper right of this page- click a link, do some reading, and give what you can.

In the meantime, the war goes on. There are some 40,000 Russian soldiers dead at this point. The coming offensive will increase that number. Putin continues to murder Ukrainian citizens, send Russia’s own soldiers to their death, and lie- every word coming out of Russia, as far as I can tell is a lie.  Remember that- lies, deceit, propaganda, disinformation- Russia.