Berlin-based Dan Tyler, who founded the graphics and signage installation workflow software provider, which has an office in Lviv, western Ukraine, as well as London, posted on LinkedIn as the situation was intensifying at the end of February.
A logistics network has now been created for collecting and moving essential items and medicines using Vism’s contacts in Ukraine and Poland.
A website has also been created that lists information on printers, signmakers, and industry suppliers who have volunteered to receive or collect donations of items from a list provided on the site.
The companies then shift donations to a depot in Gravesend, Kent, where Outdoor Logistics UK is providing a hub and onward transport to Poland. The transport effort is also being supported by global logistics provider DSV.
Once in Poland, contacts at known volunteer organisations in Lviv get everything over the border and begin the process of distributing to those in need.
Tyler said: “This has snowballed quite quickly. At the beginning of the week, I started working with a contact in Lviv to get cash donations to them so they could buy medicines and other essentials.
“We helped a couple of people in the Netherlands and France get some items they’d collected over to Ukraine, and now we’ve ended up working as a team of volunteers in the UK and Europe to shift as much essential stuff over there as possible.”
He added: “Matt at Outdoor Logistics UK approached me on LinkedIn when he saw something I'd posted, and we quickly realised there were lots of people willing to help and that we could get something going pretty quickly. The guys at DSV jumped in offering help when they saw we needed it and now it’s flying.”
A Go Fund Me page has also been created and is being managed by Fespa UK, so the organisers can buy additional items and include this in their shipments.
For more information on how to drop off donations, help with collections, see what items are most needed, or make a financial donation, visit: printforukraine.co.uk.