Ukrainian Volunteer Relief
Svitlana Lytvak, pictured above, worked as a manager at our Main St location years ago. She has since moved back to Ukraine, her native country, and is living there currently. The text below is an unedited email she sent us once we reached out following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Svitlana's own recommendations of where you can donate are at the end of this page. The groups hope to help the countless volunteers who have uprooted their lives to work and fight for the freedom of their country.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read Svitlana's message, and if you are able to donate, we greatly appreciate you doing so. Every little helps when supporting the strength and bravery of the everyday people who are affected by war.
"Thank you so much for your email and support! It means a world to me and my Ukraine. You moved me to tears...
It has been very tough. Never in my life have I woken up to war.... That morning, the 24th of February we will never forget... Missiles strikes, and explosions all over Ukraine: Kyiv, Kharkiv, Kherson, Chernigiv, Mariupol, Ivano-Frankivsk, Sumu. I have never felt anything scariest than that.
A peaceful beautiful country (I've chosen to live in and basically left Canada for) in 2022 is been subjected to such hell!!! putin (we call him khuilo) destroys the lives of millions of people, destroys dreams.
This war is not the local conflict between russia and Ukraine. It's a huge world-wide war of ideologies, between a free world, democracy, safety, peace and mid-century style dictatorship with lies, fear, aggression, punishment, and brainwashing. All our history is full of cases of russia trying to destroy Ukrainian history, Ukrainian culture, Ukrainian language, Ukrainian nations.
17 days... War is continuing. So many people were killed and will be killed. Russia is been absolutely inhuman and cruel. They do massive bombing and attack cities with no military presence. They destroyed residence areas, schools, kindergartens, hospitals, maternity hospitals... They sabotage all humanitarian corridors and kill peaceful people. There are cities that have no water, electricity, gas, no food... Innocent people are dying not only from shooting, but also from dehydration and starvation. In the XXI century!!!
Me and my husband live in the central part of Ukraine, our native city called Cherkasy. It's 200 km away from Kyiv. It's more or less safe here. But most of our nights are spent in our bathroom on the floor because of air raid sirens and possibility to be hit by a missile or a bomb. We used to run a tiny family type coffee roastery called About Coffee (yeah, my dream came true and I am still crazy in love with coffee and all things about coffee!!!), but now our days filled mostly with volunteering, helping at the shelters or local civilian defense, building obstacles and roadblocks, making Molotov cocktails (it's petrol bombs). We are trying not to forget who we were before the war, we still roast just a very few batches of coffee beans to support our Army, lift up their spirits, and we supply few wholesale customers with beans, but it's really hard to run a business in this circumstance. Not to mention that we were planning to open our very own coffeeshop... putin took it away from us...
Although, we are strong and we would never ever give up. We have no fear of putin. He will never break us down. We're trying to stay optimistic and we say "it's one more day closer to the victory".
We are very grateful for all the support that Western countries have given to us already. And I really feel that you and my JJ BEAN family stand with Ukraine. Thank you so much for your support!
The two groups listed below were suggested to us as trustworthy by Svitlana, please take the time to look at the links provided. JJ Bean will be splitting 100% of donations received between the two.
1. Serhiy Prytula.
Since 2014 he began coordinating a volunteer supply center for the Ukrainian Ground Forces and civilian volunteers. His Charitable Foundation is trusted and fully accountable, run by Ukrainians and goes directly to Ukrainians.
2. Maple Hope Foundation – Defend Ukraine Fund
Facebook: Maple Hope Foundation - Головна | Facebook
GiveSendGo - Defend Ukraine Fund: The #1 Free Christian Fundraising Site.
This is local Vancouver initiative. Funds gathered will be used to provide non-lethal support to Ukraine’s defenders. This includes, but is not limited to: medical supplies, body armour, helmets, and radio communication devices.