Ed's Friends Inaugural Newsletter!

In between the scrambling to connect our friends in Ukraine with the money and supplies they need, we've been guilty of neglecting to take time to reach out to our biggest supporters (i.e, all of you). We're super excited to be launching this newsletter, which will allow us to highlight some of the ways we're using your donations to help the people of Ukraine. It may come out every week, or it may sometimes take a bit longer (we're a team of volunteers with day jobs to attend to), but we'll do all we can to share the impact of your generosity as well as let you know about upcoming fundraising drives and other events.

The celebration of America's independence is also the perfect day for this launch. It sometimes feels like in recent years that the strength of our own democracy has been tested, as opposing sides dig in and end up believing that no outcome is acceptable short of complete ideological victory. One reason we are so inspired by the Ukrainian people is because they force us to take a hard look at ourselves. And in doing so, we realize there are fundamental values we all share that are neatly summed up in our own Declaration of Independence: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The brave struggle of a freedom-loving people to determine their own future, even in the face of the very real threat of annihilation, is an incredible reminder of what's truly important and worth defending.

And with that, on to Ed's Friends business. Our biggest recent news is that in late June Ed made his fourth visit to Ukraine to deliver aid. Thanks to your donations, we were able to deliver approximately $40k in humanitarian aid, helmets, vests, gloves, goggles, Bleedstop medicines, optics for rescue drivers, backpacks, tourniquets, and a pickup truck for evacuating victims of war. Half of this money came from the recent "Bruin Challenge", where an anonymous donor matched donations 1:1 up to $10,000, allowing us to raise $20k in less than ten days. We were thrilled with the results of this challenge and with how quickly we were able to put the money into action (want to help us with a future matching challenge? Let us know!). Ed was also able to help deliver over $100k in medical supplies donated by Dr. Steve Orten and Dr. Alex Orten, who accompanied him on his trip. We are very grateful that these American friends wanted to travel to Ukraine and help. During their visit, they created friendships with Ukrainian doctors, volunteers, and professionals. They also found potential partnerships to nurture. We look forward to more good things as a result of this exploratory journey, and more trips to come for these gentlemen. Dr. Steve Orten even appeared on local television!

Thank you all again and Slava Ukraini!

Our Latest Challenge!

For the first two weeks in July, we are working to raise $30k for the purchase of used ambulances to deliver to the front lines in Ukraine. Ambulances don’t have a very long lifespan in this war – rough terrain and the constant threat of attack are a major challenge. But while they’re operational they save lives – often conducting 5 or more rescues per day from the battlefield. Our friends in Ukraine tell us these vehicles are desperately needed, and so we are working to answer the call. Help us by donating today at www.edsfriends.org or by clicking on the Donate button below.

Amazon Smile

Did you know you can support Ed's Friends while shopping as usual on Amazon, at no cost to you? Just click on this link to sign up. Once signed up, Amazon will donate 0.5% of your purchase to Ed's Friends (again, at no cost to you). You'll need to login to smile.amazon.com on your desktop before conducting a purchase. More of a mobile shopper? Click here for instructions on how to set things up on your mobile phone (it's even easier than desktop shopping). There's no easier way to support Ed's Friends - sign up today!

We Depend on Our Donors

While we're growing, Ed's Friends remains a small charity run by a group of passionate volunteers with deep connections to Ukraine. We don't have the scale and influence of a major charity, but our connections to Ukraine mean we are able identify immediate needs for humanitarian and defensive aid, and to meet those needs quickly and efficiently in a way larger charities can't. It also means that we are able to share the stories of the impact of your donations directly with you, our donors. While the tragedies in Ukraine have captured the world's hearts and attention, we know that this is likely to be a long struggle. Ukraine will depend on a continuous, ongoing commitment from international partners to ensure victory, and Ed's Friends plans to be there every step of the way. We deeply appreciate all donations big and small. And even if you can't donate as much as you'd like to, help us by getting the word out! Anyone can sign up for our newsletter by filling out the form on our Home page. You can also purchase some of our Merch and wear your Ed's Friends gear with pride! Send a picture to info@edsfriends.org and we'll add it to our gallery.
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