Russia's invasion of Ukraine has left millions of people displaced, homeless, jobless, and in dire need of necessities. Many have suffered critical injuries, and scores have died. The humanitarian crisis has reached epidemic levels, and it's growing worse by the day. So the gambling industry decided to take a stand at the onset of the conflagration between Russia and Ukraine. They set an ambitious target of £250,000, and it has already been met.
Organizers of the charitable drive are urging stakeholders at all levels, including players, operators, and laypeople, to pitch in and help out. The outpouring of support from corporate donors and individual donors has been remarkable, and the gaming industry has stepped up to the plate in a big way. The GoFundMe campaign is up and running through April 2022. Now, more people have an opportunity to donate and show their support to the beleaguered people of Ukraine. The GoFundMe campaign is known as – Gaming Industry for Ukraine Initiative.
This charitable campaign funds 'Choose Love' – the de facto charity for assisting Ukrainians affected by the war. 'Choose Love' can ensure that all funds reach their targets, such as NGOs operating in Ukraine and other countries accepting Ukrainian refugees. All charity is geared solely towards humanitarian efforts.
Big Donations from Key Industry Players
Several leading operators have pitched in with huge donations for 'Choose Love', including:
- Betsson - £50,000
- Oryx Gaming
- Games Global
- Funfair Games
- Fast Track
- Just for the Win
- Better Collective
Besides big business, the Gaming Industry for Ukraine Initiative has stressed the significance of individual donations. Many people have handsomely donated '…four or five-figure sums of money, some anonymously.' Donors will have the option to continue to view updates from 'Choose Love' via LinkedIn updates and various social media channels in the coming weeks.
Rasmus Sojmark, the CEO and Founder of SBC, said, 'When we started this fundraising effort, I'm not sure we believed we would hit the target of £250,000. But the kindness and compassion of the gaming industry meant we surpassed that amount in just two weeks. Now we are kicking on and hoping to raise even more to help Choose Love's humanitarian efforts for the people of Ukraine.'
Shona O'Donnell, the co-organizer and Head of Strategic Events at Better Collective, said, 'I've always been proud to be a member of the gaming community and never more so after seeing how they have got behind this campaign to send aid to Ukraine. It's been overwhelming to see the support from all sectors of the industry, both at a personal and company level.'
Some 23 organizations in Ukraine are benefitting aid from 'Choose Love'. Since its inception, 'Choose Love' has earmarked $1.4M for humanitarian companies. The donations also include the funds raised from the Gaming Industry for Ukraine Initiative.
To date, the following major donations have been made:
- $175,000 for trucks & fuel (via Caritas) Caritas Austria has been funded to take aid to Caritas Ukraine.
- $30,000 for LGBT+ Ukrainians (via Insight) - legal support, evacuation assistance and accommodation.
- $50,000 medical supplies (via Humanitas) taking supplies from Romania to Ukraine.
- $30,000 transport supplies (Integra) - a Slovakian NGO with a network of teams and partners in the area.