PHILANTHROPY WITH CONNECTION:Helping out in Ukraine

As the situation has worsened in Ukraine over the past ten weeks, we at Rational Games have also wrestled with the question of what we can do to help with our limited means.  Where best to give and how to ensure there is an impact?  How can even we make a difference?

Elizabeth Dunn gives helpful inspiration in her inspiring TED Talk on “Making People Happy”. Her main point:  people and organizations are more likely to give when it is to something tangible, easily imagined, and quickly done.  We need to know just where the money is going and who will benefit.

Fortuitously, our network brought us two such opportunities in recent weeks:

 

  1. One of our grantees, CRISP has done significant mediation and peacebuilding work in Ukraine in recent years, also with our participation.  They brought to our attention what is apparently the most important need reported by the stricken population:  where to find bulletproof vests and thus make it possible to leave a basement shelter and venture on a public street?  The few that were available were quickly spoken for, and making new ones in a war situation is quite a challenge indeed.

In truly creative win-win negotiation brainstorming, our friends at CRISP realized that the problem is not so much a shortage of vests but of bullet-proof material inside.  Their idea: to order and assemble these protective sheets from a British supplier just over the border in Poland for further assembly in a local factory for window blinds, thus creating fully functional SK-3 protective vests.  These are then quickly spirited into Ukraine through contacts in the Ukrainian army.

We liked this idea a lot:  clear, measurable, specific, and geared to customer needs.  We made a substantial donation.  More information here.

 

  1. Our star training associate Julian Wittkamp also offered the out-of-the-box idea of donating a part of his fee for cohosting seminars to Rational Games to one of our grantees.  Would we have something very specific, perhaps involving young people or students and bringing them together?

 

Indeed we did. We found a project called “Ukrainian wall”, a place for expression locally. The Ukrainian Wall, a student-led initiative, is dedicated to all the people of Ukraine, to everyone who has suffered the trials of the war, and to everyone who is enduring them now. The wall will serve as a record of these difficult days and as a support resource for all who express themselves by leaving notes.

Dialogue and creative expression – this is the kind of project that Rational Games supports.  So thank you, Julian, for your support!

As always, comments are welcome!