The attacks on Ukraine are heart breaking. I do not claim to be a political guru, but I do know innocent lives are being lost. This has left me, like many others, feeling anxious and wanting to help.
I saw this suggestion online, and thought it was a great way to support people just like us. Creatives just wanting to get by. I doubt very much that these sellers had anything to do with these attacks. If I can support even one innocent person, then that is a tiny glimmer of light on a terribly dark situation.
It feels like an act of solidarity. A way to show other crafters that they are supported by their creative community.
How can I support creative Ukrainians?
Go to Etsy (or site of your choice) and search 'Digital File'. Then, click on the filter icon and filter the Location by Ukraine. This will show you Ukrainian sellers, selling digital files.
What digital files can you buy on Etsy?
There is lots you can purchase online, which you can use to get creative. There are patterns for crafts like crochet and knitting, there are sewing instructions, beading tutorials, origami designs and embroidery patterns.
If you have a craft machine, then you may be able to get files which work with this machine. For example, there are lots of wood laser cutter templates and paper cutter designs.
In the image below, I list some of the items I have purchased from Ukrainian sellers. Some of my purchases have been made to show supportive messages to the sellers. For example, when purchasing an embroidery pattern, I picked one which said 'All You Need Is Love'.
How do digital craft files work?
Once you purchase a digital, the download is available immediately. This means the seller does not have to post you anything - in fact, the seller doesn't have to do a thing. The whole process is automated by Etsy.
Word of caution
As this campaign to support Ukraine grows, it gives opportunity to scammers to cash in. I would hate for your kindness and hard-earned-money to go to waste. There are some easy ways to avoid this though.
Check the seller's profile. If they have lots of products and have been trading for a while, then they are likely to be genuine. Look at the star rating or reviews to make sure other customers have been happy with their purchases.
Read the description to make sure you understand what you are buying. I would recommend being especially careful with digital images as these are easy to copy from the internet and sell on - the above checks should make it clear if these are genuine people.
Just a little support
I appreciate this will not end the attacks, or be revolutionary in any way. I suppose it is just the little thing that we can do.
If you come up with any creatives ways to make this horrible situation less daunting, please do share them with us.
Be gentle to yourselves!