I'm in Lviv, Ukraine on a humanitarian mission. The need is sooo great over here and I'm hoping to activate all of our networks to provide the answer to the question we've all been asking: "How can I help the people of Ukraine?"
I have the answers. All we need over here is western support.
Dave Caperton and I (NSA Ohio) were brainstorming last night about how best to offer the opportunity to help to the speaker community. The best and most efficient use of my time over here is as a self-appointed "logistics commander" who gets the right things in the hands of the right people in a timely manner. The humanitarian response over here is a disaster in and of itself and we're circumventing the polish government and the big NGOs who don't seem to be solving specific problems... they're just trying to help by law of large numbers and chance.
So here's what I'm asking for: Zoom calls with me in Ukraine. Many of your chapters know me, I've spoken for your local speakers and many know me from the national convention. I can be your boots on the ground in Ukraine and offer a side project to your chapters and networks that just may be a great unifying project to attract new members and build camaraderie amongst speakers. There is no better way to create connection amongst people than to serve a common purpose. Might be a good membership director project to attract new speakers to NSA.
CURRENT PLAN: Let's schedule a bunch of zoom calls with your chapters or even your personal networks and get 10-15+ people on at a time. Record it to pass to those who can't make the live call. If I can do a 30-45 minute zoom from Ukraine (I know, it's crazy we have wi-fi and connectivity in the middle of a war zone, but the wonders of modern technology make the humanitarian response so much more efficient if we use it properly) and give a boots on the ground update about how to help - then you can activate your networks to fundraise and send scarce supplies to my PO Box in Warsaw and funds to our accounts. I've also got a 501c3 we just launched if your big corporate donors want to contribute that way. I've arranged the supply line from the west to Warsaw, transports in vans from Warsaw to the border, the border to Lviv and Lviv to Kyiv. We are sending vans full of requested items to remote villages and towns out east and that's the whole ballgame. Even Target corporation in Minneapolis told us they weren't donating anything yet because they had nobody in Ukraine to receive it. I can be that point of contact. So please start brainstorming about your corporate contacts who may be in the same situation and connect them to me and my American team of volunteers who will send the donor picture evidence of me and my team hand delivering the donations out east.
All I need is people back home willing to do some volunteer work to help me fill lists of needs. We have medical supply needs, so anyone who has great contacts with healthcare systems and medical associations we need them. We have humanitarian needs that fills the bottom of maslow's heirarchy, as the greatest risk of death in much of the country is not death by missile... after 7 weeks of this hellish situation now the greatest risk is starvation. Money doesn't mean anything out east if the shelves are bare. They just need food hand delivered to them and enough of it that a percentage actually makes it past russian checkpoints and to the Ukrainians on the other side. The shelves are full in Kyiv and Lviv and I can source the products locally and the US dollar goes sooo far out here I think I can get 2-4x the amount of food and humanitarian aid for the same price of 1 unit at home.