Despite the ongoing war with Russia, homes in Ukraine are booked faster than a seaside town on spring break.
On Wednesday, the popular Instagram account Quentin On social media to announce an initiative to provide financial support to families in Ukraine by booking rentals via Airbnb.
Within a day, hundreds of people joined the mission and booked Airbnb in hard-hit areas of Ukraine.
“Yesterday I shared an idea to support Ukraine by booking rooms for rent on AirBnb,” explained the account, run by Brooklyn-based influencer Tommy Marcus, who last year raised $7 million on GoFundMe to help evacuate Afghan refugees. “After 24 hours, 100 people booked with AirBnbs in Ukraine as a way to send immediate cash assistance to people in the hardest-hit areas. The response message from the hosts is very moving.”
The San Francisco-based company has since endorsed the initiative by revealing that it will waive any fees associated with such reservations.
“We are humbled by the inspiring generosity of our community during this moment of crisis,” Liz Diebold Fusco, Airbnb’s director of communications, told The Post. Airbnb is temporarily waiving guest and host fees for reservations in Ukraine at this time.
“We also encourage anyone interested in subscribing to Airbnb.org to go there airbnb.org/help-ukraineand support the Airbnb.org initiative to provide housing for refugees fleeing Ukraine, by becoming hosts or donors.” “To date, we have seen an overwhelming response to this effort, with over 357,000 visitors to this page.”
There has been a flood of comments since then as people share their experiences after booking an Airbnb to support the people of Ukraine.
Alicia Burnazi, 27, who holds dual US and Albanian citizenship, booked an Airbnb in Ukraine, told The Post she felt a moral obligation to help.
“No one deserves such suffering,” she said. “I could not sit still at home and do nothing to help. My help is small, but everyone does what they can. ”
Burnazy helped hosts Karina and Natalia.
“Karina answered me after midnight. I was deeply touched and expressed her sincere gratitude. She told me that she and her family were in Kharkiv and there were no bombings at the moment,” Bernazi explained. “I wish I could say the same about Natalia, another flight attendant from whom I booked. I’m still waiting for a reply from her.”
Rob Mason, 38, from Leicester, England wrote: “Book an Airbnb in Kyiv for £15. Get the cash where you need it.”
He told The Post he was inspired to contribute when he saw that Airbnb had dropped the fees.
“I thought it was a good idea to get some cash for those who need it,” Mason said. “I only had £15 (US$20), but I’m hoping someone will buy a meal or something.”
Denis Cibulik, a model in Switzerland, also booked a stay in the capital, Kyiv, and told the host that his intention was only to show his support.
“Obviously I won’t attend, I just wanted to support you directly with a small nod,” Sibolik told host Irina. “I pray for you.”
In response, Irina informs Cebulec that it will use the money for “humanitarian aid or in the military,” a screenshot of the interaction shows.
“I really appreciate your heart,” Irina wrote. “Stay safe and come stay with us after the war. I will wait. We have air alarms for about a day in Kyiv. We hope that all is well and will be over soon.”
Another host, Oksana, replied to someone else who had rented it on Airbnb.
“You have no idea how important it is now. Oksana answered. “I am with two children, 3 and 6 years old, hiding in the Kyiv region. We have a basement with me another family with a 6 year old girl and an old woman. . . Together we will overcome this badness.”
“Just booked some Airbnb stays in #Ukraine,” Jordan Markowski, hailing from Toronto, revealed on Twitter. “I let the hosts know I wouldn’t actually be attending, but I hope they can use the money to stay safe and buy what they need.”
“I just booked an AirBnb in Irvine,” Alex Tabaruk, professor of economics at George Mason University wrote. “My way of helping is (if you can). The extra wife will be surprised. Stay strong Ukraine.”
Airbnb currently lists over 300 rental properties across Ukraine.
Meanwhile, on February 28, the home rental platform offered free housing for 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.
The move comes as Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky announced in a tweet Thursday that the company will suspend all operations in Russia and Belarus as the war escalates.
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