HONOLULU (KHON2) — Folks in Hawaii may feel removed from the conflict in eastern Europe, but there are ways to show support.

KHON2 spoke to a local resident with family in Ukraine and the Better Business Bureau to get a better idea of how to help.

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“They’re in a state of chaos,” BBB Hawaii marketplace manager Roseann Freitas said of Ukraine. “And so you need to make sure that your donation is going to a charity that can actually impact that area.”

The BBB said sending clothes and food could do more harm than good — physical items can create problems when a crisis first occurs.

“Everybody sending it at one time creates a logistic nightmare. So that’s why maybe sending those items directly to the Ukraine isn’t going to help as much as the monetary donation to the organization.”

Roseann Freitas, BBB Hawaii marketplace manager

The chaos is leading to misinformation as well, according to Ukrainian American citizen and Hawaii resident Olga Sousa. She has been in touch with Ukrainians in her home country and said, “And they say there’s a lot of fake information regarding, you know, where to send the financial help. It’s a lot of unfortunately. It is what it is, right?”

Sousa has family and friends in several Ukrainian cities. She said hearing from them as the Russian invasion progresses has been troubling.

“Yesterday was a little piece of Ukraine on the eastern side, today is, is, is, it’s half of Ukraine. Tomorrow is all the Ukraine. What’s next?”

Olga Sousa, Ukrainian American citizen & Hawaii resident

The five BBB-accredited charities listed below are a great place to start if folks in Hawaii would like to give their support. They have each been vetted by experts to ensure the funds will be sent to Ukrainians in need.

Sousa had one final request.

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“Even just a simple prayer is so helpful and all the messages on social media are so helpful for people over there. they see it and we all share and we share, and I think that is a huge part of staying strong,” Sousa said.