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Double aid: how to motivate people to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine

Pavlo is a Ukrainian IT specialist who tries to stay proactive and help others during these challenging times of war in Ukraine. He asked his friends to make transfers to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine on his birthday, and then he doubled the collected amount! In collaboration with the Coordination Center for Precarpathian Military Assistance Save Ukraine NOW (SUN) he purchased a riflescope for Ukrainian defenders with the raised funds. "Teple misto" met Pavlo to talk about his life after the war in Ukraine exploded. Pavlo Bornia told us about volunteering and his special gift for the Armed Forces. And want to share his story with you.

Pavlo, please, tell us more about yourself:

I live in Lviv and work in the tech industry. However, I am closely connected with Ivano-Frankivsk (located near the Carpathian mountains). I used to go skiing in the winter, and often went to the mountains. I liked to travel a lot - I visited 28 countries before the war. But now everything in life is a bit chaotic, but I manage to swim, ride a bike, and wakesurf sometime.

How did the war affect your life?

Because of the war, everything turned upside down. Two days before the war, I was returning by plane from Kyiv. The last time I had to fly. Previously, I often visited Kyiv, but since the beginning of the war, I have not yet returned there. I woke up on the morning of February 24 to a phone call. A friend called with the words: "Well, that's it, the war has started."

I didn't believe it! Adrenalin. I watched the news; I was convinced. I started to act, and I remember that I was very collected. I woke my wife and gave instructions on organizing everything: we stocked up on water and bought some canned goods. They began to arrange a comfortable shelter in the parking lot. Friends came to visit us; we started to take people in. And then I realized that something more had to be done. I went to look for where to join. Lviv already had no vacant place in all organizations – not even in the Territorial Defense. They were not accepting anywhere; all the units were formed. 

I went to the district administration, who promised to call me back, took my passport data and brought it to the base, and signed me up for some patrols. But none of this came out - no one called me back. Since I live near the railway station in Lviv, I decided to go there to see what the situation is like. At that moment, there was already a transport collapse, and I started helping to transport people to the Polish border. For the first ten days, I lived on the schedule the station-road-have a snack at home. And repeat.

I began noticing strange contrasts that I had not seen so clearly before. On the one hand, people who band together do everything to help others, to save the country: they act, give and share, work late and spend the night at the station. And then you go to the border - I always tried to bring people with small children to the border - and there you see a radically different picture: people quarrel, fight and despise each other. Here you want to help people, and there you almost hate it - bizarre feelings. I understand that these are complex emotions. Everyone experiences them differently...

Read more: It takes so little to make a significant impact: Alice’s restaurant raised $10 000 for Ukraine

So you were volunteering right from the beginning of the war.

Yes, lately, I have been helping with the search, preparation and delivery of a vehicle to the front line. Even if one car, this process takes much time. It is hard work - to transport the car to Ukraine, draw up all the declarations and documents, correct possible errors, and pass all inspections.

And now, how did you decide on the idea to buy a riflescope with the Save Ukraine Now coordination center?

A friend of mine was collecting these funds to buy a car for the Army on his birthday. We have succeeded with it. But my birthday was approaching, and I also wanted to be helpful to the Armed Forces. But what to collect funds for - I still did not have a clear plan. It could be both a Bayraktar (combat drone) or just funds. I only knew that the fundraising campaign would be more effective, if not just to transfer money to some fund, but to announce some specific goal.

I am systematically donating to support the Armed Forces of Ukraine. But many people lack proactivity. So to motivate them, I decided to double the money I would raise for the Army! I decided to try to attract those who otherwise would not donate.

It is quite a motivation!

Yea. Some people reacted: "Wow, cool", and some joked: "And if we throw 100 thousand, will you double it?" I answered: "Yes, of course, we want to collect as much as possible!"

The amounts of transfers were different starting from 30 hryvnias. The most frequent contributions were 500–1000 hryvnias, and the most significant transfer was 10,000 hryvnias. Someone even dropped $100 in crypto. In total, we collected 36,900 hryvnias, and I doubled this amount.

Both the people I know and the stranger contributed. At the same time, I found a bug in the Monobank system (Ukrainian digital bank). If you send money to the charity "banka" (target account, — ed.) using the link, I can see who sent it. But no details are added if you transfer to the "banka" card number. So I don't know the names of about a third of my donors, and I can't thank them for their gifts. The bank promised to solve it.

Realizing that we have 73,800 hryvnias, and we don't have enough money, for example, to buy a copter, I thought maybe I should give the money to one of the charity funds. But the next day, I went to Lviv and picked up a passenger from Ivano-Frankivsk. It turned out to be Yaryna, the Save Ukraine Now center manager. She told me about the initiative's activities, approaches and results. We decided to join our efforts: the foundation contributed part of the amount, and we bought a riflescope for the military! It is already doing its due on the front line.

Why did you decide to cooperate with Save Ukraine Now?

I am from Kalush (Ivano-Frankivsk region). It's my native place. It is precious for me to help the military from my region.

Would you repeat such a fundraiser? And most importantly, why do you advise others not to be afraid to replicate your experience?

Our conversation with you was meant to inspire someone (smiles). If someone hesitates, I can advise you: know your audience! What the audience is interested in, what arguments convince her, and what goals she wants to achieve. If your plans are the same, you can quickly turn an idea into reality. Together.

Do not be afraid; people will support you! And one more thing: while doing this, you will meet a lot of interesting personalities who are also involved in helping the Armed Forces. Together you can definitely do anything!

Also read: Rooting for the victory: the story of the Ukrainian who won the auction with Ronaldo's shirt

Save Ukraine Now was founded by Ivano-Frankivsk City Council, Territorial Defense of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast Territorial Center for Recruitment and Social Support, Ivano-Frankivsk Business Association, Teple misto Charity Organization, Promprylad.Renovation Innovation Center, Frankivsk Drama Theater, and other partners to meet the needs of military battalions of Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast at the frontline, and to support humanitarian activities for Ukrainians affected by war.

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