Gabrielle Lods is based in Switzerland. On February 26th, she felt overwhelmed by the news coming from Ukraine and couldn't sleep. From her warm bed in Switzerland, she felt powerless.

“As I scrolled social media, I kept noticing my entire feed filled with people asking over and over how to help. So I decided to gather and categorize the initiatives I was seeing pass by.

In a couple of hours, I built a website to spread and give visibility to impactful actions across the world. And so was born.”

Quickly growing a library of initiatives

On February 28th, Gabrielle posted the site on Product Hunt and started to collaborate with volunteers to develop a section of the site dedicated to Ukrainians.

“The site has now evolved further and regroups over 300+ initiatives sourced through media recommendations, public suggestions and our personal research. And there is a significant backlog of initiative submissions, but the volunteers do their best to parse the content.

The objective now is to serve as a global aggregator of all initiatives and resources to help Ukraine. We hope to keep growing and adapting as the situation evolves.”

Building using Softr and Airtable

Gabrielle took note of the trending #standwithukraine hashtag and used this as inspiration for the site’s domain.

“I deliberately spent little time on design so I could focus on content. This way, people could quickly find initiatives in their countries and help, fast. I also started gathering information on protests from various sources.

We use Airtable to store the database of all initiatives. We gather resources from our social media news feeds, newsletters, media, and submissions on the site.

We examine every resource link to see whether it's for providing help or receiving help, or both. Then we categorize it as either money, shelter, transport, volunteer, or jobs, etc.). We give the link a name, description and a screengrab of the page or site it directs to.

The ‘Provide Help’ section of the site is in English and ‘Receive Help’ is in Ukrainian. Since we don’t always have the resources to translate via a human, we use the =googletranslate() formula in Google Sheets which does the job to an OK standard.

The front side of the site is made with Softr. It allows us to display the information using the category of the initiative and the country. This way, the information becomes easier to search, access and share broadly.”

Seeking volunteers

We have a huge backlog of initiatives we want to add but lack the human resources to categorize and describe them. We're solving that by slowly onboarding more volunteers. Join our effort if you have time!”

Creating, growing, maintaining and hosting a site is time-consuming and costly. Right now, we can’t reply to individual help requests or put people in touch with each other as we don’t have bandwidth.

You can help us by offering your expertise (social media, PR, research, etc.) or by reaching out to provide financial support. Every Euro is welcome!

Thank you to Gabrielle for sharing her story with us. You can follow Gabrielle on Twitter and support her efforts to help Ukraine here.


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