April 14, 2022

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How Hylanders are supporting the people of Ukraine

The war in Ukraine has left many of us wondering, What can I do? As we’ve seen since the crisis’s beginning, the global citizenry has found ways to offer support to Ukrainians.

Tracy Petrakis

Tracy Petrakis

Community Engagement Manager

People wave miniature flags of Ukraine.

From small acts of kindness, like the thousands of people who have booked Airbnb stays in Ukraine that they’ll never use and the Polish families who dropped off strollers at a Polish train station for fleeing Ukrainian refugees to use upon arrival, to unique corporation-led crowd-funding like the $144 million raised by Fortnight player-spending — sources of support continue to make impacts, both big and small.

These charitable acts and more strike to the heart of how many of us feel, representing small voices in a sea of many looking to make a difference for those suffering in the midst and aftershocks of the violence in Ukraine.

For many of our own Hylanders, the calling has been loud — and answered.

  • Polish Hyland teams donate their team funds to humanitarian support efforts
  • Ohio-based wish list for Ukrainians goes viral and raises over $35,000
  • Teams use volunteer time off to help local charity
  • Hyland makes corporate changes to support Ukraine

As the war continues to impact lives in Ukraine and beyond, many Hylanders are taking real action to create support and aid for the people of Ukraine.

Polish Hyland teams donate their team funds to humanitarian support efforts

With Hyland’s Katowice office just three hours from the Polish-Ukrainian border, many of our Polish Hylanders are experiencing the war up close.

In addition to many Hylanders who have opened their homes to welcome Ukrainian refugees, several teams decided to use their team engagement budgets to purchase and donate supplies.

“Each of us had the feeling we should help somehow,” said Kuba Niezgoda, an R&D manager based in Katowice. “The idea was that we’d organize a team event, and instead of buying food and drinks for us, we’d buy the needed supplies for people in real need. It was an easy decision to make. It’s impressive how all of the people in Poland are willing to help Ukrainians — many people host the refugees at their homes, organize transport of the supplies by their private cars and provide any other needed support.”

Manager of Software Engineering Maciej Wilk’s team helped in a similar way.

“We ended up buying necessities such as medication, non-perishable food, water bottles and hygiene products,” Wilk said. “We donated them at a special drop-off point — there are collection points in every city in Poland.”

From those collection points, Wilk says the supplies are transported to the Polish-Ukrainian border and even further east into Ukraine as they head for people who need them.

“This felt like a natural thing to do,” Wilk said. “My team was excited that there is something that we can do to contribute, even if it’s small.”

Ohio-based wish list for Ukrainians goes viral and raises over $35,000

I honestly have been so overwhelmed by the response of support for Ukraine. It’s truly restored my faith in humanity!

— Maria Swerchowsky 
Sales Solution Engineer and MedWish Volunteer

What started as a simple idea for an Amazon wish list has led to over $35,000 worth of medical supplies heading to Ukraine through MedWish International, a Cleveland-based nonprofit that provides humanitarian aid.

Maria Swerchowsky, a sales solution engineer based near Hyland’s Westlake, Ohio, headquarters, is a first-generation Ukrainian in the U.S. whose father was born in Kyiv.

Swerchowsky began volunteering with MedWish to sort medical supplies and pack boxes when the humanitarian crisis began.

After seeing the many critical items absent from the shelves at MedWish, especially critical wound care supplies, she added them to an Amazon Wish List and began sharing it on her personal Facebook and Instagram accounts. She was even featured by a local news station.

In the past few weeks, 1,500 pounds of medical supplies have been sent to Ukraine because of Swerchowsky’s efforts.

“The response has been amazing,” Swerchowsky said. “I honestly have been so overwhelmed by the response of support for Ukraine. It’s truly restored my faith in humanity! I am going to keep these efforts going as long as this humanitarian crisis in Ukraine is happening — so the Amazon Wish List will be updated daily based on most urgent needs.”

Contribute to Swerchowsky’s efforts via her Amazon Wish List.

Teams use volunteer time off to help local charity

It’s not just Swerchowsky who has identified MedWish as a great partner.

Several Hyland teams are using their volunteer time off (VTO) to pack supplies and trucks at MedWish, as well.

Julie Holland, manager of learning and development in HR, and her team recently spent time there.

“Volunteering filled our hearts, especially knowing that we were doing something to help those who desperately need it,” Holland said. “Not to mention, the people working at MedWish are so kind and friendly to work with.”

Kelly Shuster, senior manager of sales support, also arranged a trip for her own team to use their VTO there, and five more Hyland teams are scheduled to do so over the coming weeks.

Schedule personal or corporate volunteering with MedWish.

Hyland makes corporate changes to support Ukraine

As a global company, Hyland has core values like integrity, treating our workforce as family and bringing passion to all that we do, and we strive to live up to those words.

But as the adage goes: Actions speak louder than words.

In addition to complying with sanctions on Russia, Belarus and identified regions of Ukraine, Hyland’s leadership team has identified impactful ways to support those suffering because of the crisis.

Corporate donation

Hyland made a corporate donation to Polish Humanitarian Action, a Poland-based charity that provides direct aid to those fleeing Ukraine and entering Poland for refuge.

Support for Ukrainian job seekers

We’re also helping Ukrainian refugees find employment at Hyland by:

  • Offering a month of temporary housing

  • Covering the legal costs of making any Ukrainian refugee eligible for employment in Poland

  • Covering the cost for English lessons, if needed

Ukrainians and other European job seekers can see those jobs and more here.

Supporting workplace giving and simplifying corporate matching

Hyland’s workplace giving platform, Benevity, supports Hylanders who want to make quick and effective donations to many causes, including helping Ukrainian refugees seeking shelter and safety.

In this instance, Hylanders can direct their donation to the Ukrainian fund, and the donation is shared evenly among 19 Ukrainian-related causes (all of which are vetted and also identified in the platform).

As of publication, Benevity has supported $3.3 million raised for Ukrainian charities across its platform.

A thank you to all the givers and doers

There are countless people across the world, including Hylanders, who have donated their time and money to help the people of Ukraine. Those efforts, signals of compassion and support, may not always be recognized, but they are felt.

As the war continues, Hyland stands with the global community in calling for peace and the swift end the violence impacting so many.

If you’re looking to help, there are many local organizations across the globe where you can volunteer your time or money. This CNBC piece, A list of the top-rated charities to help the Ukraine relief effort, may be helpful.