Neil here with another update.
At this time all of our team members remain accounted for, whether they are helping the war effort in Kyiv or staying in western Ukraine with their families. We have acquired a rental unit where the non-Kyiv team members are staying together, and we have covered their food and lodging for the next month with the amazing funds you all have provided!
And yet, I’m writing to you today a month after this terrible invasion started, and it’s still no closer to its end. You may have seen the photos and videos from Mariupol – the city reduced to rubble, buildings charred, trees turned to splinters. Residents trapped in shelters as Russians open fire on any moving target. As many as 1300 people, including women and children, trapped under the rubble of the bombed Drama Theater. These horrific images tell a sobering story: this is not over.
And that’s why, despite the overwhelming generosity of everything we’ve seen so far, despite the unprecedented help we have been able to give with your support, despite the fact that most of our friends are not in immediate danger, we’re still asking for your support in both donation and signal boost form. A month of this tragedy has gone by already. How many more months will we need to support our team as they stay far from their homes? How many of our team will still have homes to return to?
I’ll end this update on a more uplifting note. Our team put together this short video to support our Ukrainian team members and surprised them with it today. I hope it’s a visual illustration of the fact that we are all #OneSprious, united in our hope for the future and our love for all the people of Ukraine.
Yesterday, you were living comfortably in the largest and most prosperous city in the country. This morning, you woke up to the sound of rockets. Tonight, you and your family are trapped in a car, surrounded by a sea of other cars, driving towards a border that may not take you in. Never seeing your home again is one of the best case scenarios. You are Ukrainian, and your country is under attack.
This is the situation that 19 of our Sprious team members find themselves in: Anton, Oleksandr, Aleksey, Alexander, Andrey, Dmitriy, Igor M, Igor V, Kirill, Nickolay, Oleksiy, Sergey, Vasyl, Vladimir, Yeuhen, Vadim, Vlad, Andriy, and Vitaliy. They are the co-founders, engineers, managers, developers, husbands, fathers, who have poured their heart and soul into our startup. Most importantly: they are my friends. They are my family. And they desperately need your help.
The latter part of this video is taken on the first day of the attacks. It’s a video of me asking for support from my friends and family. I want to lovingly be clear: this is not about me. This video depicts the pain and fear I have for my Ukrainian family. Through shared common humanity, I hope you, too, can find love for them.
What is the situation?
Our team was primarily located in the capital city of Kyiv, which has been the target of rocket and missile attacks since February 24, as well as invasion by Russian ground forces. Although the Russian military has been prioritizing military targets, there have already been civilian casualties, and there will be more before the war ends.
Make no mistake: the stakes here are absolutely life and death for our friends, their wives, and their children.
At time of writing, about half of our team is still in Kyiv, staying safe in their homes or in shelters. Four are in cities in western Ukraine where there is no fighting (yet). The rest are moving towards the Western border where we have boots on the ground trying to help them get their families into Poland.
Our company has already provided these men and their families with paid time off and we are working with them around the clock to coordinate safe passage into Poland based on the latest news and updates.
What can you do to help?
I have set up a GoFundMe to help support our team.
Our initial ask is $38,000 USD – that’s $2000 for each of the 19 members of our team. This will cover about two months of living expenses per family as they get settled in a new city or country.
We have already taken steps to support our team including booking 3 safe houses that can support up to 17 people as soon as the Polish border starts taking in refugees again. Your contributions will not only pay for these existing efforts and more along the same lines, but will allow us to do much, much more.
If we raise money above the stated goal it will continue to go first to our team and their families, then to their friends. Then to our business partners who have teams there. Remaining funds above and beyond these needs will be donated to a vetted Ukrainian charity to help support those in need in the country.
I want to emphasize that despite the fact that I know these people through our work, none of this money is going to the company in any fashion – 100% of this money will go to helping Ukrainians in need.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read, share, or donate. Your support, whether financial or emotional, will mean the world to these men and their families. We stand with love and support with the Ukrainian people. We are #OneSprious.