The last few weeks have left me reeling, not from my own personal or professional life, but the struggles being endured by others around the world, particularly women. The fear, uncertainty, and horror attached to what is taking place in the Ukraine has left me heart broken. Watching families flee across the border to relative safety with little more than their children and what they can carry in their arms is a terrifying site. More so, the Ukrainians of all ages standing strong in defense of their homes and their way of life.
I, along with so many other Americans, feel helpless as we consume the images and videos being transmitted across broadcast news outlets. I am particularly moved by interviews with incredibly strong Ukrainian women—young and old—who have taken up arms alongside their male counterparts. Others, are doing so while cradling infants and children closeby. The juxtaposition is so staggering, it has literally taken my breath away. During these moments, I revel in how fortunate I am amid a bubble of safety and good health, lest we take any of it for granted.
I find myself riveted by images of Ukrainian women whose lives changed in an instant. Those same women may very well become one of the country’s most powerful weapons. Since the start of the invasion, scores of Ukrainian women from all walks of life and all ages, have stepped up to volunteer on the front lines, suggesting that in the life and death struggle for freedom, everybody, male or female, can make a difference. Even though the outcome is unknown, I believe, with absolute certainty, that the strength and courage of Ukrainian women will be a defining factor.
In some small way, the team at Cocktail Sneakers hopes to support these amazing women—especially this week, punctuated by International Women’s Day. We are therefore earmarking 20% of all March sales proceeds to be donated directly to Global Givings’ Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund.— whose partner agencies are providing shelter, food and clean water for refugees, health and psychosocial support, and access to economic assistance to terrified and displaced refugees. For those who would like to help in other ways, this link will direct you to other, verified support organizations.
Me and my team at Cocktail Sneakers stand strong with Ukraine and its powerful female demographic fighting for their country, their freedom and their way of life.