Concerned supporters of Ukraine have found an inventive way to help the beleaguered people of that country as thousands joined a social media campaign to send money directly to the victims of Vladimir Putin.
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky noted last week that Airbnb customers booked $1.9 million in rentals as a way to quickly send money to Ukraine, even if they have no intention of traveling there, according to The Hill.
"In 48 hours, 61,406 nights have been booked in Ukraine," Chesky triumphantly tweeted on Friday.
In 48 hours, 61,406 nights have been booked in Ukraine. That's $1.9M going to Hosts in need
Such a cool idea from our community. Thank you https://t.co/MEitgKB5Eo
— Brian Chesky 🇺🇦 (@bchesky) March 4, 2022
Naturally, few of these bookers actually intend to go stay in the rooms they've booked. It is all just a way to get relief money into the hands of Ukrainians as quickly and as directly as possible.
The Internet-based booking company is also doing its part to facilitate the campaign by waiving its booking fees for rentals in Ukraine.
"We can confirm we are waiving all guest and Host fees on all bookings in Ukraine at this time,” Airbnb said in a statement.
Airbnb also told users that it intended to help by providing housing for 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.
1. Airbnb and https://t.co/enqjlQB0rH are working with our Hosts to house up to 100,000 refugees fleeing from Ukraine, for free
— Brian Chesky 🇺🇦 (@bchesky) February 28, 2022
"With more Hosts, we can house more refugees," Chesky said. "If you live in Germany, Poland, Romania, Hungary, France, UK, Italy, Netherlands ... anywhere a refugee may be, you can help by opening your home."
Meanwhile, as an additional finger in Russian strongman Vladimir Putin's eye, Airbnb also suspended operations in Russia as a response to Putin's invasion of Ukraine.
This is a unique way to help Ukraine, but also a way to create an end run around left-wing fundraising sources, including GoFundMe.
Readers will recall that leftist GoFundMe tried to steal $9 million dollars away from the Canadian Freedom Convoy truckers when it abruptly decided to block the money from going to where donors intended it to go and instead announced that it would be sent to left-wing sources that GoFundMe wanted the cash to benefit.
This plan was no less than theft. Without evidence and after $9 million was raised, GoFundMe declared the peaceful trucker group to be "terrorists" and decided to steal their money. Fortunately, the attempted theft raised enough of a ruckus that the online fundraising site decided simply to refund the donations to the donors instead of stealing it to aid the company's personal causes.
GoFundMe also prevented donations from going to help pay for Kyle Rittenhouse, the teenager falsely accused of murder for defending himself during the Kenosha, Wisconsin, Black Lives Matter riots of 2020.
In contravention to American ethics, the company decided he was guilty until proven innocent and only relented in allowing the donations to follow through after a jury acquitted Rittenhouse of all charges in the case.
The online fundraiser has become so notorious for summarily shutting down conservative causes that Florida's Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that the Sunshine State had launched an investigation into its exclusionary practices, especially its decision to steal the Freedom Convoy's $9 million.
"It is a fraud for @gofundme to commandeer $9M in donations sent to support truckers and give it to causes of their own choosing. I will work with @AGAshleyMoody to investigate these deceptive practices — these donors should be given a refund," DeSantis tweeted on Feb. 5.
It is a fraud for @gofundme to commandeer $9M in donations sent to support truckers and give it to causes of their own choosing.
I will work with @AGAshleyMoody to investigate these deceptive practices — these donors should be given a refund.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 5, 2022
DeSantis and Florida were quickly joined in the investigation by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, and Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.
The left's desire to wage economic warfare against conservatives continues apace. And it will continue until governments and the courts catch up to the facts on the ground and push laws to stop it.
Meanwhile, private individuals have proven they'll find a way to stick it to tyrants. In the Canadian convoy case, would-be donors turned to an alternate fundraising site to get around the GoFundMe ban and teach the left how much a free people values freedom.
In the Ukraine effort, they're teaching the same lesson to Vladimir Putin.