Updated: Mar 4
Like many of you, I’ve been glued to my screen following the situation in Ukraine this week. There is an uncomfortable mixture of feelings spinning in my head - hatred, inspiration, uselessness, exhaustion and simply…shock. There are senseless attacks on innocent people all around the world every single day, but if I’m being honest, this has consumed me more than any of the other global atrocities in my life.
I have been spoiled. I was born the year the Soviet Union fell. Over my lifetime, Europe and America have never really been threatened. I used to roll my eyes hearing about what it meant to have nuclear attack drills, but suddenly, Tik Tok is full of videos explaining what to do should a nuclear war start.
We are witnessing a real war… the type of war that Call of Duty video games glamorize because it feels like such a foreign concept that we don’t mind jumping in for a few hours. Families are being separated at the border so the men can stay back to fight, when only a week ago, I could have easily been working to develop a new app with one of those fathers, in this globally connected digital world..
But so far, I’ve used “I” and “me” too many times in this post. Ukranians are the ones living in the dire conditions right now… families cuddled up in the underground subway, children marching for miles in the snow trying to cross into foreign countries they have no ties to, grandparents staring at the devastated homes that they had worked hard to modernize in order to cut ties from the old Soviet Union.
The people of Ukraine need a lot of help and I hope everyone who feels passionate about helping is able to support a cause that means something to them. For me, that something is FUNDaFIELD, where we use soccer as a rehabilitation tool for children in trauma zones around the world. Historically, we have focused on developing countries around the world, but if there was ever a time to distract kids with an uplifting activity, even if only for a few minutes a day, it is now in the refugee camps around Ukraine. Through FUNDaFIELD we have seen the positive impact soccer can provide on displaced children living in refugee camps in Uganda, so we are confident that soccer can also be used as a rehabilitation tool around Ukraine. Transparently though, this is new territory for FUNDaFIELD and we need to spend more time learning the best way we can use our resources. But because we are passionate about this, we are fully committed to doing that as quickly as possible. Speaking on behalf of FUNDaFIELD, I promise to use all the connections and resources we have to pull together an efficient plan to help the Ukrainian children. It might look different to the work we have done in other parts of the world, but I promise it will have an equal, if not greater, impact.
For my birthday next week, I’m asking you to give what you can to support a cause that helps the people of Ukraine in whatever way feels most impactful to you. If that is FUNDaFIELD, you can donate at www.FUNDaFIELD.org. If not, spend some time deciding what resonates with you and then push yourself over the hurdle that might have prevented you from donating already. I know it sounds cliche, but every dollar helps. And if you want to help us at FUNDaFIELD, send me a message directly or email the organization at email@example.com.
Sincerely, Garrett Weiss