As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues despite global protests and criticism from world leaders, Ukrainian citizens bear the brunt of the violence. An estimated million Ukrainians and counting have already been displaced by the war and millions more are hurting as their livelihood crashes around them. Humanitarian organizations are scrambling to provide relief for refugees and innovative activists have found a novel way to help Ukrainians residents hard up for money: Book their Airbnbs.
Airbnb has already taken the initiative to offer free housing to 100,000 refugees from the conflict, but you can pitch in by booking a place in a Ukrainian town. The money will go directly to whoever is renting the property, offering a small but meaningful infusion of cash in a difficult time. Social media was flooded with stories of Ukrainian residents grateful for the money.
Yesterday I shared an idea to support Ukraine by booking rooms for rent on AirBNB. 24 hours later, 100's of people are booking AirBnBs in Ukraine as a way to send immediate monetary assistance to people in hard-hit areas. The messages in response from the hosts are so moving pic.twitter.com/ai2Je8VKCt
— IG: @quentin.quarantino (@quentquarantino) March 3, 2022
To make matters even better, Airbnb has agreed to waive all fees for anyone booking in Ukraine, so all the money you spend goes directly to the renter. “We appreciate the generosity of our community during this moment of crisis,” an Airbnb spokesperson told the Guardian. “Airbnb is also waiving all guest and host fees on all bookings in Ukraine at this time.”
Want to get in on it? Go for it! Keep in mind, many Airbnbs are leased by companies that may not even be based in Ukraine, so read the home or apartment description to make sure it’s a real person or family running the Airbnb instead of corporation.
Of course, there is no shortage of ways to help. Reputable, experienced organizations like World Vision, the Red Cross and UNICEF are accepting donations to provide both for the immediate needs of Ukrainian refugees at the border and to help strategize longterm solutions for resettlement.