From ordinary citizens to executives of big-name corporations and Hollywood stars, people around the world are pledging millions of dollars to help Ukraine defend itself from Russia’s invasion, alongside much-needed medical supplies, military equipment and even pet food.
Netflix co-founder and co-chief executive Reed Hastings on Wednesday announced a $1 million donation to Razom, a Ukrainian nonprofit group that has sought to strengthen democracy in its country. It is now focused on procuring disposable resuscitators, tourniquets and other emergency supplies needed to treat war injuries, according to its website.
Celebrity chef José Andrés delivered flour to a bakery outside Lviv, Ukraine, amid larger efforts by his relief organization, World Central Kitchen, to feed Ukrainian refugees and others inside the war-torn country.
Last month, actors Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, her husband, donated $1 million to USA for UNHCR, a nonprofit group supporting the United Nations refugee agency. Airbnb said it would host up to 100,000 refugees without charge. Pet stores and a pet food maker in Northern Ireland aim to send 5,000 cans of wet food, according to a local report.
More than $50 million in cryptocurrency had also flowed into Ukraine as of Wednesday, according to Merkle Science, a blockchain analytics firm, in response to the Ukrainian government’s call for crypto donations last month. Private groups helping the Ukrainian military or providing humanitarian assistance had also received several million dollars, the firm said.
Ammo, an arms manufacturer in Arizona, is planning to send ammunition instead of cash. Inspired by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s remark that he needed “ammunition, not a ride” out of his country, Richard Childress, one of the company’s board members and a former NASCAR driver, urged Ammo to send bullets to Ukraine’s armed forces, NBC reported.
The company is now seeking to ship 1 million rounds to Ukraine’s beleaguered military, which has been weathering intensifying Russian shelling and missile strikes. “Ammo Inc., and we as Americans stand firmly in support of Ukraine’s sovereignty and independence,” Fred Wagenhals, the company’s chief executive, said in a news release.
Rick Hendrick, the owner of Hendrick Motorsports, is offering $2,000 toward Ukraine relief for each lap led by his four-car stable at the 1.5-mile Las Vegas track at a NASCAR event on Sunday, on top of $200,000 to Samaritan’s Purse to support disaster assistance.
In Japan, ordinary citizens gathered $17 million, while Hiroshi Mikitani, the chief of Japanese e-commerce conglomerate Rakuten, said he would donate about $8.7 million. In Taiwan, senior government officials have pledged a month’s salary.
In Poland, an optician is offering free eyeglasses. A Milan watch dealer is giving proceeds from an auction of a vintage Russian timepiece, Bloomberg News reported. People in Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Egypt are also offering rooms to refugees, according to Host4Ukraine.com, a website linking displaced Ukrainians with those willing to offer a roof.