We’re All in This Together

by Vasken Kalayjian

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Martin Luther King

When individuals are forced to evacuate their homes and cities due to conflict, it is perhaps the most heinous form of injustice. It doesn’t matter who’s right or wrong, what governments are doing to untangle the complications of the crisis, or what the international community has done to help; people worldwide should be responsible for supporting those in need.

Civilians are bearing the brunt of the tragedy, and they have no choice but to carry on as best they can and keep living one day at a time waiting for the unknown. While you’re safe with your families, far away from pain and sorrow, others are suffering daily and seeking help by all means.

Speak to influence and change lives

As a US citizen born in Syria in the city of Aleppo, I have seen the devastation of my city’s ancient archeological and cultural treasures, such as marketplaces, mosques, cathedrals, schools, and hospitals. I have seen block after block of homes destroyed.

In Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh), I saw Azerbaijan and Turkey launch an attack on Armenia, including drone bombing of communities. The world lowered its gaze and was locked down with COVID, leading to the deaths of thousands, the destruction of historic landmarks, and history was rewritten in a place that deserves nothing but peace and love.

I guess Ukraine is where I decided to speak up against injustice. I suppose I can be more objective and less emotional when it comes to Ukraine vs. Syria or Armenia. The other two are where I was born, and my ancestors were born.

The unfortunate plot twist in people’s lives

“Only when you have eaten a lemon do you appreciate what sugar is.”

Ukrainian Proverb

Due to the conflict in Ukraine, over seven million people have fled across the border into neighboring countries in search of safety. Among these refugees are elders, women, and children forced to leave their homes and communities. The crisis has resulted in the most rapid and widespread relocation of people in Europe since World War II.

They woke up one day to find themselves striving for survival and struggling to provide the necessities they once imagined they’d never lose. They arrived in the middle of the nowhere, leaving behind kitchens full of food and wardrobes full of clothes, looking for anything to eat and wear.

Despite the international efforts to put the war to an end, it’s still unclear when the conflict will be over. Even as we watch helplessly, many of us are left to contemplate how we may do something to alleviate the suffering of Ukrainians as their cities and towns crumble around them.

Where there is great love, there are always miracles

Only think about what you can do as a human being to aid another human in need without regard to politics, race, religion, or any other differences. As the butterfly hypothesis suggests, a slight change in circumstances could result in a significant difference in the outcome.

You can make a difference in many ways, even if you contribute a modest amount of time or money. Whether or not your donation will benefit all those affected by the crisis is a question that must be answered. Definitely not, but at least for one family, it can make a difference when combined with other contributions and efforts simultaneously.

“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”

Ronald Reagan

People may tremendously impact humanitarian crises like this if they show compassion and generosity. Dozens of organizations work within Ukraine or in countries that share a border with Ukraine to help those forced to escape their homes.

To do nothing is a decision, just as it is a decision to roll up your sleeves and contribute to the betterment of those people’s lives with a simple act as small as donating. Humanity, however, is the major difference between the two decisions.

Fraud is the daughter of greed

Greed is one of the seven deadly sins, and fraud is its daughter. Unfortunately, scammers are always ready to exploit people’s pain for their benefit. Despite the difficult situation when people’s lives are on the line, some websites and fake entities started collecting donations pretending to help Ukrainians. They don’t only rip people off and take advantage of their sincere feelings but might be why someone is dying out there due to insufficient healthcare, or lack of medicine or food.

As part of our mission to provide a reliable source of information for individuals who wish to support civilians but aren’t sure how to go about it, we launched Spotlight Ukraine with that purpose in mind. Our team is also prepared to help regardless of our location in the USA, UK, Italy, or Armenia. The names are listed on our blog.

We’re All in This Together

We developed our web platform to serve as an information hub where interested supporters of the cause may learn more about how to positively impact civilians’ lives through various approaches. As you browse, you’ll understand what it means to say, “We’re all in this together.” After all, our lives as humans are magically connected, and we want that connection to benefit those in desperate need of help right now.

We're all in this together

Martin Niemöller’s poem, ‘First They Came’, was written just after WWII and today is part of the permanent exhibition of the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. The poem reinforces the danger of apathy and indifference. It is reminder of the importance of moral connectedness of all people and to Speak Up and Stand Up for What’s Right. Let us continue to Stand Up for Ukraine in the fight for sovereignty and cultural preservation.