Leadership guru John Maxwell has famously said, “If you’re going to do a big job, you need a big team.”
The challenges presented by the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine are staggering — more than 5 million people affected by the conflict, 1.1 million internally displaced persons, 1.7 million children need care and counseling.
Last week, I met with a top UN official in Ukraine. She spent the last 16 years on the ground in war-torn countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, the Central African Republic and Myanmar. She is smart, tough and hard to scare.
After the pleasantries were over, she looked at me and said, “We want to be your partners.” Of course, I asked why.
She said, “If you don’t work with us, people will die. It’s that simple.”
Sometimes team is the difference between life and death.
That’s what we have been doing the last few months, building a team big enough to take on the suffering of a nation. Next month, we launch a national campaign called Ukraine Survival to fill shipping containers with emergency supplies for people whose lives are hanging by a thread. Save Ukraine Now is approaching thousands of churches, synagogues and civic associations across the United States to fill shipping containers with emergency supplies and ship them to Ukraine.
Teams have been organized in Chicago and Detroit to mobilize city-wide efforts. Detroit is setting the standard for team building: more than 20 organizations in the Detroit Metro area have joined with us in this effort. In the last few weeks, churches in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana and Illinois have launched campaigns in their communities.
It’s still not enough.
We need you. The people of Ukraine need you.
Will you join a team of people from many different backgrounds and incredibly diverse gifts to help save a nation? Would you organize a campaign in your church or community to fill at least one container?
Over three or four weeks in April and May, you ask the members of your congregation or civic organization to fill at least one plastic bag with clothes, shoes and blankets and bring them to the church to be loaded onto a container we will send to you.
Time is running out for thousands of people in Ukraine. But with the efforts of a big team, we can make sure it doesn’t.