Help Ukraine | Update on MCC Campaign(s) to date

Your Generosity is Saving Lives!


Thank you for your generosity! It is making a difference!

MCCers around the world have responded so quickly, generously, and regularly to the relief efforts for Ukraine. For MCC, this has been with our partner organization in Ukraine – ACCEPT Romania – who are working on the ground and around the clock to assist LGBTQ refugees fleeing their homelands. They are exercising such compassion and flexibility to respond to the unique needs and challenges of each situation.  You’ll hear more about that later in this email.

We are also strengthening our relationships with MCC-based organizations who are well ahead of us in meeting the needs of refugees around the world (more details below).  This is a time for us to come together in solidarity and support, and we are doing that.

What we have done

Through your generous support, ACCEPT has been able to:

  • Support over 60 LGBTQ people and their families as they have crossed the border of Ukraine into Romania in search of safety.
  • Meet the needs of people who would have fallen through the cracks of other relief organizations.

We are proud to be one of ACCEPT’s active supporters.

There is still so much need

The needs of the people fleeing Ukraine to save their own lives and the lives of those they love are as unique as the people themselves. Here are a few examples.

  • Those in need of specific medical care are often unable to continue their life-sustaining treatments (i.e. HIV/AIDS medication, hormone and other treatments unique to the plight of trans individuals, etc.).
  • There are many Ukrainians who are seeking asylum, who flee to Romania because they have a route to do so, but who are ultimately traveling to another location (Romania is a transit location for many because Romania itself is not the most friendly for LGBTQ people.)
  • Those who are called “Third Country Nationals” (people from another country who are living in Ukraine for school or work) are facing particular challenges, including unique legal challenges specific to their situation.
  • Many who consider their pets as family (so many of us do) are choosing to stay put and face dire circumstances, rather than leave their pets behind. The ACCEPT shelters have made room to accommodate this.

How you can help now

You can still give through MCC to meet these needs. We are so grateful to ACCEPT and their on-the-ground leadership. Florin Buhuceanu, a long-time MCC-affiliated activist, is a founder and supporter of these efforts. And, ACCEPT is keeping MCC up to date as things change and needs shift. 100% of any funds you contribute will go to ACCEPT.  MCC is covering every administrative fee, including wire transfers, conversion rates, etc.

Here are some ways that you can donate to this effort now!

If you are in the US and are able to donate by credit/debit card, please visit: http://weblink.donorperfect.com/mccdisasterrelief

If you would like to donate via PayPal, please visit: https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=XGFV7SCBL7ARQ

If you would like to transfer funds electronically, from anywhere in the world, here are the relevant banking details:

Bank Name: Lloyds Bank

Sort Code: 30-90-54

Account #: 00150202

Account Name: UFMCC UK Project (funds will be used entirely to support Ukraine)

IBAN: GB14LOYD30905404391875

BIC: LOYDGB21090


ACCEPT

* ACCEPT is the first non-governmental human rights organization in Romania to defend and promote LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) rights. ACCEPT is working with partner organizations in Moldova, Ukraine, and other neighboring countries. They are establishing new relationships with other countries in Europe who are receiving refugees.


OUR PARTNERS ARE ALSO HELPING!

MCC works with several other affiliated and associated organizations who are engaged in justice work around the globe. We are proud to share more information with you about their efforts, and hope you will generously support these efforts as well. Each is focused slightly differently, so choose the one that best honors your intentions. This is a moment when it is essential that we work together so our support can be more effective.

Please share with us about the things you and/or your congregations are doing.


The Global Justice Institute

The Global Justice Institute’s work around Ukraine includes the entire Eastern European region.  From Belarus to Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania and Romania, we have been actively involved in humanitarian efforts to save lives.  We’ve quickly moved most of our partners out of harm’s way but continue to support some who remain stuck in Belarus and Ukraine.  We provide housing and food assistance for them and communicate with them almost daily as we work to move them to safety.

The Global Justice Institute is also partnering with 2 individuals organizing on the ground whose efforts we have been able to verify, and who are assisting those still under siege in Ukraine, and who are providing two other levels of support.

The first has to do with technology. Night vision drones are needed to find safe times to leave for those attempting to flee and for use by those attempting to get supplies into those who are hiding.

The second has to do with caring for those who are wounded and do not have access to medical facilities or emergency care. Backpacks that are designed for a second level of medical care in terms of combat action and that meet the standards of tactical medicine with things like Quikclot and Celox are being prepared, with each backpack having enough supplies to save up to 10 lives.

Every penny contributed to The Global Justice Institute goes to support this work.  We take no administrative fees and all our activists are well-experienced volunteers.  To support this life saving work, go to https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/1435416.


MCC of Toronto
merged rainbow & Ukraine map

The Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto (Canada) has a vibrant refugee ministry.

MCC Toronto is the only LGBTQ+ exclusive Sponsorship Agreement Holder (SAH) for refugees in all of Canada. Through our work with sponsorship teams, we have privately sponsored over 55 LGBTQ+ refugees to Canada and have provided services and programming to over 3,500 LGBTQ+ refugee claimants since 2007.

They did an Instagram Live Takeover with Andrew Kushnir who is an LGBTQ+ advocate of Ukrainian descent living in Toronto and it can be viewed at: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cb0tc1yl-gE/

 

There is also lots of great media coverage connected to MCC Toronto and their Ukrainian Relief Efforts:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-russia-ukraine-war-lgbtq-refugees/

https://fb.watch/cuE4qfvJkl/ (CBC News)

 

So far they have only heard from 3 Ukrainians outside of Ukraine but not yet in Canada. However, they have 50 Afghans on their wait list for refugee sponsorship and are pulling together about a dozen sponsorship teams of five that have to raise $18,500 to sponsor a refugee.

 

MCCT expects most Ukrainian Refugees will come on a special short term visa given by the Canadian government … and likely return home. Senior Pastor, Rev. Jeff Rock says his heart is warmed by the number of phone calls he has gotten from people offering spare bedrooms and sending funds on to Ukraine where it is needed now. And, he affirms that MCCT will be there in the long term to support folks when they arrive.

 

MCC Toronto has a long time congregant/connection through the Global Justice Institute who has been coming back and forth between Canada and Belarus for years. He speaks fluent Ukrainian, Russian, Belarussian, and Polish so is acting as their translator and they are ready with programming as soon as folks arrive!

To support MCC Toronto’s Relief efforts, visit: https://www.mcctoronto.com/help-support-lgbtq-ukrainians/


Rainbow Faith and Freedom

Rainbow Faith and Freedom is a Global Movement to confront religious-based LGBTQI discrimination. They are working to inspire faith communities and families to be safe places for LGBTI people by changing the hearts and minds of individuals around the world.

Rainbow Faith and Freedom was founded by Rev. Dr. Brent Hawkes, C.M., Senior Pastor Emeritus of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto.

Brent is encouraging supporters of this vibrant ministry to join MCC and ACCEPT Romania in our Ukranian relief efforts. Donation information is included above.