How to Sponsor Light:
You can get involved by sponsoring light through our Give Light, Get Light program here: https://luminaid.com/products/give-light
Choose "Refugee Relief" when selecting the charitable cause to direct your sponsorship towards Ukraine relief. These sponsored lanterns and phone chargers will be distributed by our charitable partners who are responding in Ukraine and Eastern Europe.
October 23, 2022:
Providing Light and Power to the Deaf & Hard-of-Hearing Community in Ukraine
More than a million households in Ukraine are without power, following Russian air strikes targeting Ukrainian energy infrastructure and power plants. Power outages, whether they are caused by natural disaster or man-made crisis, disrupt daily life, and can cut off connections to information, loved ones, and emergency services. In an emergency, your phone is a critical survival tool, and NGO requests for solar phone charging capability are what inspired our 2-in-1 Power Lantern line.
For the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community in Ukraine, losing power is especially perilous, because they rely on light to communicate in sign language, and on their phones to access information. Our nonprofit partner Off-The-Grid Missions has been on the ground in Ukraine providing LuminAID solar lanterns and phone chargers to Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing families, along with water filters and other essential aid items.
Angela Maria Nardolillo, founder of Off-The-Grid Missions, shared with us more information about her organization's work in Ukraine, and the impact of the LuminAID lanterns being distributed in Ukraine. She says "Communication is the greatest barrier for Deaf and Hard-of-hearing people. All communications are lost when the lights go out, and/or when the internet goes out (Russians target the internet first)."
The gear Angela packed for her mission in Ukraine
For this reason, Off-The-Grid Missions' has focused on distributing LuminAID power lanterns, which double as a solar lantern and a phone charger. Angela explains: "A lot of Deaf people are without money right now and those in regions without light are having a hard time communicating after sundown. So the LuminAID solar lights that we distributed are helping Deaf people to communicate after sundown and pass along vital information."
Off-The-Grid Missions met a Deaf woman named Luda in Vinnytsia, a town in mid-west Ukraine, where Off-The-Grid Missions stops to provide supplies to the local community while operating rescue missions from Ukraine into Poland and Romania.
Luda is 26, and before the Russian invasion, she worked at McDonalds. She says: "Deaf people do not receive the same treatment as people who are hearing [in Ukraine]. We do not have access to information such as where food is being distributed for example, so we are limited with the little food and help we do get. ‘Help’ naturally comes as a priority to those who hear simply because it is easier to communicate. Efforts are not made to communicate with us Deaf people, so we are isolated when it comes to the war. The Deaf Community, myself included, are grateful that Off-The-Grid Missions (OTGM) exists and impressed that they came to Ukraine during the war. OTGM made us a priority, they gave us LuminAID solar lights with mobile chargers to communicate at night and so we can continue to be advised of when the air raids alert us through our phones."
We are proud to have worked with Off-The-Grid Missions since 2019. In addition to their work in Ukraine, they are also responding in Puerto Rico and Florida, following Hurricane Fiona and Hurricane Ian.
To support more projects like this, you can sponsor light through our Give Light, Get Light Program. Choose "Refugee Relief" to direct your sponsorship towards Ukraine.
July 18, 2022:
Feature on NBC Nightly News
Our nonprofit partner Off-The-Grid Missions has been on the ground in Ukraine providing LuminAID solar lanterns and phone chargers to Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing families. Their work was recently featured on the NBC Nightly News.
Watch the segment to learn more about this incredible nonprofit and the important impact that light can have for Deaf individuals in a crisis.
We're proud to have worked with Off-The-Grid Missions 2019, supplying their team with solar phone chargers that Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing communities can use to communicate via sign language after dark. Learn more about our work with them in the Bahamas following Hurricane Dorian, and in Puerto Rico, following the 2020 Earthquakes.
The challenges of life in a war-torn country are multi-faceted for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Communication is often difficult since they cannot hear the yells to leave the area or the gunfire. Off-The-Grid Missions is a nonprofit helping deaf and hard of hearing people in disasters around the world. NBC News’ Ellison Barber shares their story.
March 22, 2022:
Over 3,500 LuminAID lanterns have been delivered to our NGO partners in Ukraine and Eastern Europe, with more on the way! We are continuing to receive requests from NGO's and are working with multiple organizations to provide solar lanterns and phone chargers to Ukrainian refugees in Eastern Europe, as well as families in crisis zones. Due to security concerns, and the unpredictability of circumstances on the ground, photos and stories may take longer to be shared back with our followers. We look forwarding to sharing more detailed updates and impact stories as they are available!
Many of our NGO customers and partners are actively updating their websites with details on their responses. Check these pages for the latest updates from the ground:
- ShelterBox: https://www.shelterbox.org/ukraine-crisis-urgent-appeal/
- Convoy of Hope: https://convoyofhope.org/response-updates/convoy-reaching-out-to-help-in-ukrainian-crisis/
- World Central Kitchen: https://wck.org/en-us/news/100-million-meals-in-ukraine
- Off-The-Grid Missions: https://www.offthegridmissions.org/ukraine
- International Medical Corps: https://internationalmedicalcorps.org/emergency-response/war-in-ukraine/
March 25, 2022:
Statement from Andrea Sreshta, LuminAID Co-Founder
As you might know, LuminAID was invented shortly after the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, to provide a safe source of light to families displaced by natural disasters. My co-founder Anna and I were inspired to create a lightweight, waterproof solar lantern that could pack flat and be shipped in bulk for humanitarian aid.
In the last month, more than 3 million people have fled from Ukraine into neighboring countries. The impact of this crisis could be likened to that of a natural disaster. But unlike an earthquake, this crisis is man-made. We've been inspired to see the international community respond to assist Ukrainian refugees, I and wanted to share an update on what LuminAID is doing, and how you can help.
What is LuminAID Doing?
Our nonprofit partners are on the ground in Europe providing refugee aid, humanitarian supplies, and medical care. Solar light and portable power have both been identified as important needs for refugees fleeing the crisis, as well as for relief aid work.
I've been working with our logistics team and NGO partners to coordinate shipments of solar lanterns and phone chargers into Europe. The supply chain and logistics considerations for this crisis are complex, and continuing to evolve. We already have shipments underway to NGO partners, with more being planned.
We're also working on translations of our instruction manuals in Polish and Ukrainian. Shout-out to our customer service lead Joanna who is putting her Polish language skills to use!
How Can You Help?
You can help us respond by sponsoring light for refugee relief. A sponsorship of $20 will provide a safe, rechargeable Power Lantern for families to charge their phones and connect to loved ones or critical services.
We'll continue to share updates on this page as we receive updates from our NGO partners who are responding in Ukraine, and you can follow along on our social media channels as well.