Airbnb, Etsy among sites being used to help send money directly to Ukrainians

People using Airbnb to help get money to Ukrainian hosts
Posted at 1:17 AM, Mar 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-08 08:37:13-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — With so much information at our finger tips, the crisis in Ukraine is unfolding in the palm of our hands. But help for Ukrainians thousands of miles away is also at the tip of your fingers.

"Oh I thought it was fabulous," said White Bluff resident Penny Foreman. "It was one of those deals where you say 'I did not think of that'." She booked a two-night stay in Kyiv with no intention of actually going.

"I tried to find a place close to where it was happening," said Foreman. "I figured they would need it the most."

It's part of a growing trend - people are booking virtual stays to support hosts in Ukraine. As a result, Airbnb has waived all reservation fees.

"So certainly we are not profiting from this and we're also ensuring that the hosts who are receiving the support can get 100% of the proceeds," said Airbnb spokesperson Liz Fusco.

Some are also turning to other websites like Etsy, where customers can support Ukrainian shop owners by purchasing digital art so artisans don't have to send packages from the war-torn country.

Fusco said, "There's a real emotional connection that's happening between those who are giving and those who are receiving and certainly in a moment that is so gut-wrenching."

Foreman messaged her Ukrainian host letting him know she had no plans of traveling and that the money was just to help him. "Now I wonder every day, is this guy okay? Is he safe? Is his family safe or the people that he was taking care of safe?"

Foreman said they now have a connection, and she plans to book with other Ukrainian hosts soon.

Airbnb has also pledged to house 100,000 Ukrainian refugees. The platform is helping subsidize hosts who want to temporarily house a refugee for free or little cost.