Ukrainians crowd under a destroyed bridge as they try to flee crossing the Irpin river in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, March 5, 2022. Credit: Emilio Morenatti / AP

Todd Benoit is the president of the Bangor Daily News.

Like many of you, BDN staff have watched as Russia invaded Ukraine and tried to rip freedom from the Ukrainian people. The courageous response from the citizens of Ukraine has been an inspiration to the world.

Within Maine, the Bangor Daily News fulfills its mission by reporting on issues that matter to the communities we serve, presenting news our readers need to make informed decisions. This is a vital role in any democracy. As Maine-centered as we are, we still believe we have a moral imperative to stand up for the Ukrainian people under mortal threat from an invading autocratic regime. This is why we have decided to direct all revenue generated by new subscriptions from March 8 until March 14 toward relief efforts. Given the vast need, we know this is a drop in the bucket. But just like with sustaining local journalism, every drop matters. I hope you’ll join us.

Anyone who subscribes during this week can choose to stay with us for Maine news, or end their subscription after the initial charge by turning off autorenewal. Your entire first payment on any new subscription will be donated to support the people of Ukraine. We will publish the total amount collected and evidence of the donation so you know exactly where the funds went. If you already have a subscription, we thank you, and suggest instead that you donate to relief efforts directly.

We are choosing to support Direct Relief Ukraine because it is rated by Charity Navigator as a highly efficient and transparent aid organization, and it is working directly with the Ukrainian Health Ministry to assess the immediate need and respond accordingly. It’s not the only place where your dollars can do good. Our news pages and editorial board have some suggestions.

Please find frequently asked questions about this BDN initiative here.