One benefit of being a long-time technical consultant and author is you meet a lot of people. Over time, if you’re lucky, you establish friendships all over the world.
First there’s a name in an email, a person with whom you regularly interact and, hopefully, form a relationship. These individuals become trustworthy resources who explain new applications and services, provide assistance obtaining software and license keys, track down images and answer myriad questions.
While many of these contacts are professional, over time they can become personal and meaningful on a deeper level. Such is my case, in which Ukrainian colleagues I’ve known for years were kind enough to send me a thoughtful Christmas gift. Remember this was December 2021 when estimates already placed 100,000 Russian troops massed on their border.
While not extravagant or ostentatious, the package shipped from Kyiv included thoughtful, relevant gifts, including a holiday card. Navy blue and featuring an embossed silver foil Christmas tree, when open the card plays the traditional Christmas song Shchedryk, or Bountiful Evening. Known in English as The Little Swallow and later integrated within the tune Carol of the Bells, the original song was composed by Ukrainian Mykola Leontovych in 1916. You instantly recognize the song and its four-note ostinato pattern, which is beautiful, if not a little haunting, now, knowing what Ukrainians are experiencing.
The song shares the story of a swallow flying into a household singing of wealth to come the following spring. The card’s note expressed the same wishes for me and hopes my 2022 would prove a wonderful new year filled with inspiration, treasured moments, happiness and joy.
Well, why that’s proving true for me, you can’t say the same for Ukraine or its people. They deserve and need our help and support. One way you can contribute is by supporting Ukrainian companies that build useful, empowering and capable applications. Here’s a short list of a few such firms:
- Grammarly – Founded in Ukraine and now boasting offices worldwide, they’ll keep you writing right.
- Readdle – The Ukrainian-founded startup has team members in Odesa and Kyiv and provides a range of helpful productivity apps, including the Documents file manager with a built-in browser and VPN, PDF Expert utility and Spark email client, among others.
- MacPaw – The Mac application development company headquartered in Kyiv produces and maintains the popular CleanMyMac and CleanMyPC maintenance utilities, ClearVPN program and Gemini 2 duplicate file remover app, not to mention the Setapp suite of Mac programs available by subscription.
- Skylum – Founded as Macphun in 2008 in Ukraine, the firm produces and maintains the easy-to-learn and reasonably priced Luminar Neo and Aurora HDR photo editing applications for Mac and Windows users.
I recommend them all.
So you know what to do. Look them up. Buy their products. These programs will make your life easier and you’ll know you’ve engaged in transactions that make a meaningful difference at a critical time for the people that make them.