CENTRAL ARKANSAS– As the conflict continues in Ukraine, people in Central Arkansas are finding ways to lend a hand from thousands of miles away.
Many people in Arkansas and across the nation are booking Airbnb’s in Ukraine. Vacationers say they have no intention of visiting but the money spent will still go to people in need.
“I literally cannot imagine what they’re going through,” said Lauren Lisowe who booked an AirBNB in Ukraine.
Lisowe booked her vacation rental for Friday. She says she was called to help after seeing a social media post about others doing the same.
“It was presented, and it was easy, I didn’t have to leave my couch,” said Lisowe.
Ricki Lee lives in Mayflower, Arkansas. She says she and her friends pulled together money Friday to book an Airbnb in Ukraine for 4 days. The group also has no intention of traveling but says the donation felt like the right thing to do.
“People are over there just scrambling fighting for their lives. It’s scary,” said Lee. “I put myself in their position and I want to do what I can to help them.”
Airbnb prices range from $15 to almost $200 and upward. Lisowe says any little bit helps.
“We don’t know if this was their only source of income, I mean this place that we’re booking may not even be standing right now,” said Lisowe.
Some who are booking through AirBNB say they have received messages from the hosts in Ukraine.
Lee says she received a message from the owner of the rental Friday, reading in part “It’s great to know that there are people who support. I’ll use my help for good. Thank you very much.”
Lee says it meant the world to her to be able to help and shows anything can be done even from thousands of miles away.
“Love is universal,” Lee said.
If you would like to book through Airbnb, previous bookers are warning others to make sure the host is legitimate. You can check this based on verification status, reviews and speaking with the host on the site.