Ukraine… or, “how I learned to stop just hating Putin and tell him to go f8#$ himself”

This has been a very distressing and distracting time. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like to be in Ukraine right now under attack and siege.

I was somewhat embarrassed at first as I have some Russian roots, but soon realized that Ukrainian citizens probably don’t hold the average Russian accountable, and there are some close ties between cultures and individual families.

What’s a sailor to do? How does one help?

One thing going around goes like this: book a room on AirBnB, and then immediately inform the host that you’re not actually coming but just getting some dollars to someone there. Not sure how I feel about this.

Another? Buying digital art, etc on Etsy. What I like about that is supporting creators, and also the ability to share that art to expand awareness.

Giving to recognized, highly vetted charitable organizations is still probably the best way to go for donations. Make sure you pick something listed by an unconnected, highly credible source, such as a prominent media outlet you already trust (regardless of whether you agree/disagree with some or all of its policy views or biases). Two that we’ve seen in several lists and which have withstood the test of time: UNICEF and Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders). We link to them below. There are others, of course.

Latest cover: “Resilience” by Barry Blitt, the same Pulitzer Prize guy who gave us the last Trump cover showing him being carried away pouting by a bald eagle.

Giving is one thing; doing is another. If you can think of something grass roots you can do to influence others to give or do something, your efforts might have a multiplier effect. Perhaps you simply post on social media and come up with a call to action, asking or challenging your peeps to give or do. Perhaps you come up with something more.

We’ve seen some businesses start to donate portions of some or all of their sales. Magic Mountain, our favorite little hill in Vermont (with the toughest terrain in SoVo as well as easy and moderate trails), did two things we know of.

  1. They dumped all their Stoli, etc, in a great show on social media.
  2. They donated a portion of their ticket sales from last weekend to the cause, and publicized the intent in advance to get people out. It worked. They were busy! And, they painted the Ukrainian flag on the slopes.

What are we doing?

For now, we are incentivizing you to donate $50 to a legit charitable. How? By then deducting $50 from your tuition for our Start NavigatingSM courses (ASA 105, Coastal Nav).

Details: if you’re giving to UNICEF and/or Médecins Sans Frontières, just do it and send the proof. If you want to give to another organization, clear it with us first to be sure we’ll deduct the donation from your tuition (as we’ll have to check it out). Then, send the proof. Either way, we’ll then email you an invoice showing $50 off the tuition. You can choose an existing schedule, or just buy the course and schedule later. We’re always adding new schedules, and usually choosing dates based on your availability.

To further incentivize donating, we’re putting a deadline on this: you must purchase by the end of March. However, you don’t need to schedule the course by then. You have until the end of 2022 to take it. We schedule most of our navigation courses from October through April.

To check out the course and/or send us proof of donation, go here…

Here are links to Médecins Sans Frontières and UNICEF:

Glory to Ukraine!” (Ukrainian: Слава Україні!, romanizedSlava Ukraini!IPA: [ˈslɑʋɐ ʊkrɐˈjin⁽ʲ⁾i] (listen)) is a Ukrainian national salute or farewell that can be used at the end of speeches, known as a symbol of Ukrainian sovereignty and resistance and as the official salute of the Armed Forces of Ukraine since 2018. It is often accompanied by the response “Glory to the heroes!” (Ukrainian: Героям слава!, romanized: Heroiam slava!). Paragraph above copied from Wikipedia by searching “Glory to Ukraine.” Photo: February 27 in NYC, on that page on Wikipedia (no photo credit posted).

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