Despite the ongoing war with Russia, homes in Ukraine are getting booked up faster than a seaside town at spring break.
On Wednesday, the popular Instagram account Quentin.Quarantino took to social media to announce an initiative to financially support families in Ukraine by booking Airbnb rentals.
Within a day, hundreds of people joined in on the mission and booked an Airbnb in areas where Ukraine has been most affected.
“Yesterday I shared an idea to support Ukraine by booking rooms for rent on AirBnb,” explained the account, which is run by Brooklyn-based influencer Tommy Marcus, who last year raised $ 7 million on GoFundMe to help evacuate Afghan refugees. “24 hours later, 100’s of people are booking AirBnbs in Ukraine as a way to send immediate monetary assistance to people in hard-hit areas. The message in response from the hosts are so moving. ”
The San Francisco-based company has since come out in support of the initiative by revealing they would be canceling any fees associated with those bookings.
“We are so humbled by the inspiring generosity of our community during this moment of crisis,” Airbnb Communications Director Liz DeBold Fusco, told The Post. “Airbnb is temporarily waiving guest and Host fees on bookings in Ukraine at this time.”
“We also encourage anyone interested in getting involved with Airbnb.org to go to airbnb.org/help-ukraine, and support Airbnb.org’s initiative to provide housing to refugees fleeing Ukraine, by becoming a Host or donating,” DeBold added. “To date, we have seen an overwhelming response to this effort, with more than 357,000 visitors to this page.”
A flood of comments have since poured in as people share their experiences after booking an Airbnb to support the people of Ukraine.
Alesia Burnazi, 27, who holds dual American and Albanian citizenship booked two Airbnb’s in Ukraine, telling The Post she felt a moral obligation to help.
“No one deserves such suffering,” she said. “I could not sit still at home and not do anything to help. My help is small, but everyone does what they can. ”
Burnazi helped hosts Karina and Natalija.
Karina replied to me after midnight. She was so touched and expressed sincere gratitude. She told me her and her family were in Kharkiv and there were no bombings for the time being, ”Burnazi explained. “I wish I could say the same for Natalija, another host I’ve booked from. I am still waiting for a reply back from here. ”
Rob Mason, 38, from Leicester, England, wrote: “Booked an Airbnb in Kyiv for £ 15. Get the cash to where it’s needed. ”
He told The Post he was inspired to contribute when he saw that Airbnb dropped the fees.
“I thought it was a good idea to get some cash to those who need it,” Mason said. “I only had £ 15 ($ 20ish), but I’m hoping it buys someone a meal or something.”
Denis Cebulec, a fashion model in Switzerland, also booked a stay in the capital city of Kyiv and let the host know that his intention was purely to show his support.
“Obviously I am not coming, just wanted to support you directly with a small gesture,” Cebulec told host, Irina. “I pray for you.”
In response, Irina informed Cebulec she would use the money for “human 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 almost a day air alarms in Kyiv. Hopefully this will all be alright and going to be over soon. ”
Another host, Oksana, responded to another individual who rented her Airbnb.
“You have no idea how valuable it is now. We are all stopped, ”Oksana replied. “I’m with two children, 3 and 6 years old, hiding in the Kyiv region. We have a cellar, with me another family with a girl of 6 years and an old woman. . . together we will overcome this bad. ”
“Just booked some @Airbnb stays in #Ukraine,” Jordan Markowski, who hails from Toronto, revealed on Twitter. “I’ve let the hosts know I will not actually be showing up, but that I’m hoping they can use the money to stay safe and buy what they need.”
“Just booked an AirBnb in Irpin,” Alex Tabarrok, an economics professor at George Mason University, also wrote. “My way of helping out (if I can). Plus wife will be surprised. Stay Strong Ukraine. ”
Currently Airbnb lists more than 300 properties for rental across Ukraine.
Meanwhile, on Feb. 28, the home-rental platform offered free housing to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.
The move comes as Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky announced in a tweet on Thursday that the company would be suspending all operations in Russia and Belarus as the war escalates.