Charleston real estate software company BoomTown is raising awareness about the situation in Ukraine and accepting donations to support its Ukrainian employees, some of whom have not been able to leave war-torn areas of the country.
BoomTown’s Ukrainian team is made up of about 25 people working in client operations, web development, HR and more. The company has been actively working to communicate with its Ukrainian employees and track their whereabouts and well being.
BoomTown was able to aid some employees in leaving the country. Nina Magnesson, social innovation coordinator for BoomTown’s outreach program, said many of the employees went to be with their families in nearby countries or fled to areas of Ukraine where fighting is not currently happening.
“At this point, nobody wanted to come [to the U.S.], but they certainly will be supported if they want to,” she said.
“A lot of our employees have gotten out safely, but there are still some, especially people’s families, that are there in bomb shelters right now.”
Employees who are still in Ukraine have been able to contact employees at the BoomTown headquarters in Charleston, like Magnesson, via Slack, an intracompany messaging app. Magnesson also said she has created a BoomTown group via Signal, an encrypted private messaging app, to allow employees and their families to communicate without being traced or tracked.
“The employees we have in Kyiv cannot leave anymore, so they’re stuck there. We’ve been able to connect with them over Slack, and we’ve heard from some employees who are standing in line for food and meds all day, and then they spend the rest of the day hiding in the basement,” she said.
BoomTown has already made donations to the Ukraine Red Cross, but Magnesson says this new initiative sprang from U.S. BoomTown employees’ desire to directly support their Ukrainian colleagues.
“This initiative is the employees themselves here in the U.S. who want to help their BoomTown family members who are in a war zone. Those whose homes are being bombed, who are losing every single thing they own, who are leaving their homes with only what they can carry. Having been from New Orleans and having family members who had to evacuate for Katrina, I get it,” she said.
Magnesson is communicating with the Ukrainian team to learn what type of help they need most, mainly basic supplies like medication, food and water, and researching the best method to get donations directly to BoomTown employees.
“It’s helpful for us, because we don’t know what to do, and we’ve gotten a few messages from our people over there saying just the notion that we’re doing something for them is a huge psychological support,” she said.
“If you want to make a donation, this is something that we can do. And for our employees in Ukraine, they know that we’re standing with them, we support them, we see them, we know they’re there and we want to help.”
If you wish to donate to BoomTown’s fund to directly support its Ukrainian employees, you can visit BoomTownLove.com/boomtown-employees.
For more ways to help those in Ukraine, check out the resources in this article:
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