Park City man utilizes AirBNB to send aid to Ukraine

PARK CITY, Utah — While the conflict between Russia and Ukraine rages on with no clear end in sight, news feeds around the world have been plagued with heart wrenching news and sadness as Putin continues to exert his reign of terror. But amidst all the negativity, one Park City man has found a way to spread some goodness directly to the lives of the people of Ukraine despite being separated by nearly 6,000 miles.

Jason Rafeld, a resident of Park City, was scrolling through his instagram feed recently when he came across a particular account by the handle “@quentin.quarantino”, a profile that has been sharing news about Ukraine and providing ways for people to provide aid. Upon discovering the account, Rafeld read a post which encouraged people to book AirBNB rooms for rent in order to provide immediate relief to the people suffering in Ukraine. He immediately sprang to action.


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A post shared by Quentin Quarantino (@quentin.quarantino)

“Somebody posted it and I came across it, maybe I was just early, and I thought that was a really cool way to help somebody,” Rafeld said. “If I see somebody struggling, I want to know I can do something to make their day better and I’m gonna do it, or I’m going to try to do it. So I thought that was pretty cool because I was able to directly impact somebody as opposed to other organizations where maybe the money would be better used potentially but I don’t have that direct contact with somebody to provide them with some positive reinforcement. You are cared about, we recognize it’s a difficult time, at some point it’ll pass and, you know, hang in there.”

Rafeld then proceeded to navigate the AirBNB app by searching Ukraine and picked several locations near Kyiv with just one requirement. They had to be owned by people and not corporations. He then booked a week’s stay at three locations, shared a short message of hope, and helped these individuals understand that they are not alone.

“Hi, I wish this world was different and I could visit your country. Since I won’t be making this trip, I hope this helps you a little during this difficult time. Please know we are behind you and Ukraine. Please stay safe and strong. This shall pass and brighter days are ahead. Sending you and Ukraine some love,” Rafeld’s personal message read.

In response to his support, the reactions he received truly illustrate the impact his act of kindness had on these individuals.

“O, my God!!!! Jason, yes, I’m in Ukraine! In Kyiv! We are now with mother, we are crying of your kindness!!!….Thank you!!! Thank you so much!!!!! I don’t know how to explain what I feel now!!! I am extremely grateful to you!! I invite you here, when it will be peace and quiet! I meet you and replace without money!! I can’t explain you how to thank you,” One response said.

“Thank you!!!!! You are wonderful!!!! I will give this money to those in need!!!!! Thank you very much!!!! Your action caused me to tears…I never thought there were so many people good people!!! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!! From all over Ukraine!!!!” Another response said.

“Thank you so much Jason,” An apartment owner stated. “Hope we will win and stop this horror. Where the apartment is located is a hot point these last 3 days. Our soldiers stopped 3 waves of Russian tanks moving to Kyiv in Irpin and this is our glory. I promise to use your donation for charity and provide my apartment for free accommodation for those who lost their home. Thank you.”

While Rafeld’s actions are very noble and have clearly made a huge difference in the lives of those struggling, he wishes to only inspire others to do the same rather than take any of the credit.

“I definitely don’t want the recognition for anything other than to hopefully inspire some others to do the same and brighten somebody’s day,” Rafeld noted.

For anyone wishing to replicate Rafeld’s actions, they can do so by simply utilizing the AirBNB website/app, request a search for local property owners in Ukraine, and proceed to book dates at their own discretion. As it currently stands, AirBNB is currently waiving all fees for properties in Ukraine.

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