Adresles and Ukraine. It’s all about the people, not the address.

Maria (the pseudonym we will use to preserve her privacy) is a young Ukrainian university student who lived in her native country with her mother and nine siblings. This year, on 24th February, her life changed. “Maria, wake up, the war has started. They are bombing us.”. After an arduous odyssey, Maria and some of her siblings managed to reach Spain and settle in Zaragoza (in case you want to know about her experience from Maria herself, click on the image below). To escape from Ukraine, however, they had to leave everything behind.

La imagen tiene un atributo ALT vacío; su nombre de archivo es CARTA-ADDRESSLESS-1024x423.png

The Addressless story

In February 2021, a year before the start of the war, somebody else’s life changed, this time for the better. One of BBVA’s employees became a father, and, as tradition dictates, Mario Íñiguez and the rest of his colleagues wanted to send him a present. But there was a problem: they didn’t know his address. At that moment, Mario realized what would change his professional life. “Why do we need to know anyone’s address to send something if we count on the modern technology?” Such a reflection led Mario to found Adresles.

Maria and Mario, separated by a thousand kilometers, would probably never have crossed paths in a different reality. However, the war began. Several weeks ago, thanks to Mario’s innovative idea and his team, they could bring their paths together: “Why can’t we help Ukrainian refugees?”. Fellow Funders recently had the pleasure to know Mario and his volunteer initiative to help Ukrainian refugees. To contribute our grain of sand to this devastating war, we would like to share his story.

However, before discussing Adresles for Help (Mario and his team’s initiative), we must answer a question. Although we already know how Adresles came into being, do we know what the project consists of? Adresles allows users to deliver without knowing the recipient’s address. Similar to Bizum. All you need to send money is the recipient’s cell phone number.

Deliveries without labels

As soon as the senders program the shipment through the Addressless platform, the recipients receive an invitation to indicate the address where they would like to receive the package. Thanks to this system, people themselves become the destination. Although these shipments must inevitably be sent to a point on the map, the postal addresses are no longer necessary.

Although Addressless is a valuable solution both for small businesses and private users, it works especially well for people who do not have a permanent address. For example, people who have lost their homes, such as refugees.

Here is where Addressless for Help steps in: an initiative to connect the charity of hundreds of Spaniards with the needs of hundreds of Ukrainian refugees.

Addressless: connecting refugees with donators

The platform interface for this purpose has two tabs. The first tab focuses on Ukrainian refugees, who are to provide basic information, such as their telephone numbers. The platform permits any international prefix, so there is no obstacle.

Once the principal fields are filled in, refugees need to answer questions about their needs: products they require, their household composition, etc. They are also welcome to provide some personal information, as well as their social networks. “Our goal is to encourage people to see these refugees as normal people, just like any of us. People who overnight were forced to leave their homes because of the war,” explains Blanca García, the communications manager at Adresles.

On the other hand, the second tab targets those who want to contribute. Once the users access the platform, they can view the refugees’ anonymized profiles. Until the contributor has registered to donate, they cannot see these profiles in detail, preserving the refugees’ privacy.

Zero commissions

Once registered, users can help any of these refugees simply by shipping them any products they have specified. The mobile number is not even necessary. Finally, the user accesses a gateway where all the shipping characteristics are listed, including the pick-up location. In this same gateway, Adresles sends the user a code so that the user pays only the shipping costs to the company in charge of the delivery without the usual Addressless commission. As a result, Adresles does not receive any financial benefit from this initiative. Last but not least, the user only needs to prepare the package and hand it over to the delivery person. Since the refugees are themselves the ones who indicate where and when they want to receive the package, the user does not need to worry about addressees. For this purpose, refugees only need to stay at the same address for three or four days. Once the donation reaches them, Adresles allows the refugees to send a photograph or a message of gratitude to the contributor. “Ukrainians are very grateful. In fact, they need to say many more times”

The war we are living through grieves the whole of society. Fellow Funders is shocked by the images coming from Ukraine. Yet there is still good news, such as Adresles. “Companies are offering us their help without hesitation, from advice to call center services,” celebrates Mario.

Join the Addressless initiative!

Before we concluded our interview with the founder of Adresles, Mario wanted to send a message to anyone considering helping: “To all the people who want to help, but do not know if their help will arrive or in what form, I encourage them to try Adresles. We are still working on making this technological solution as human as possible. We see how help arrives and feel the feedback, creating bonds of help and gratitude. For us, there is no greater reward for our work.”

Fellow Funders is used to introduce you to investment opportunities. However, today we wanted to try something different: to help people who overnight had to leave their homes because of war. We don’t want to stay on the sidelines of this humanitarian crisis, and we couldn’t think of a better way than Adresles for Help. A project where postal addresses are left aside. A platform where what matters is the people.

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