It’s been exactly a year since the world received the shocking news that Russian troops had invaded Ukraine, and exactly a year since the lives of millions of Ukrainian people changed forever.
As news of troop movements, cities under siege, refugee crises and all kinds of geopolitical saber-rattling has come to those of us outside Ukraine, many of us have gone through varying stages of shock, dismay, and fear. But what have been harder to come by than news are stories: the stories of families whose lives have been upended, of women and men who have displayed true heroism, and of the bright light of miracles, big and small, shining through the darkness of war.
And today, we’re bringing you a few of those stories, starting with the story of Svitlana Miller and her remarkable organization, To Ukraine With Love. This is an organization we’ve gotten to know over the past several months and have been astounded at the sheer effectiveness of the work they’re doing: providing immediate needs like food, sleeping bags, and generators — even building homes for people displaced by the war. We’ve been stunned by the impact of each dollar they’ve raised, all of which goes 100% to direct aid in Ukraine, not to wages for team members or any other expense.
Svitlana Miller is a native Ukrainian who founded To Ukraine With Love once she saw the immediate the needs of her friends, family, and country. She had been running an international education agency from the United States since 2009, and with her team and contacts in Ukraine, Svitlana was able to mobilize aid in a remarkably short amount of time.
Svitlana was joined in this conversation by her team member Nancy Cadjan, who has over a decade of experience working with the Global 500 C-Suite and the heads of HR in the biggest organizations in the world. She lived in Russia in the 1990s and has been connected to Eastern Europe for the past 30 years and immediately jumped in to help with both feet when this crisis began.
We were honored to have these two on, because they’ve been instrumental in helping us be more connected to Ukraine. Through them, we’ve met families whose homes have been literally destroyed in a moment by direct missile hits, and we’ve been able to learn from and connect with on-the-ground heroes who have changed everything about their work and lives to help relieve suffering.
We really believe that these two, and this organization, are remarkable in the work that they’re doing and the impact they’re having. If you listen to this episode, and feel moved to help, you too can be a part of their direct relief efforts, getting food on tables and roofs over heads. You can find out how to help or get in touch at toukrainewithlove.org.