Joe Freedman, an Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) member in Nashville is the founder and CEO of Event Works Rentals. Joe saw a need for entrepreneurs to help the Ukrainian people fight their war and tapped his entrepreneurial skills and resources to do so. Here’s what he shared about the experience:
During a recent trip to Ukraine to deliver donated drones, I visited Auschwitz across the border in Poland. On a wall in this place where so many innocent people were killed is a plaque: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
As a Jew, this warning is especially present to me, which is why I have a deep and lifelong disdain for bullies. When Russia invaded Ukraine, I saw another potential slaughter of innocents. History repeating itself. I’ll never understand why so many people ignore atrocities—then or now.
But what can I do? I don’t have military, medical, or other skills to help the Ukrainians. I have no political strings to pull. I’m just an average guy, a businessperson, frustrated and deeply affected by watching another tyrant slake his thirst with innocent blood.
Then I realized there was something I could do. I’m a member of EO Nashville, the largest US chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization—which has chapters all over the world. So, I emailed each of the 23 entrepreneurs in EO Russia and the 48 members in EO Poland. The Russian entrepreneurs wanted to help their friends and relatives in Ukraine. Several Polish EO members are engaged in supporting and providing aid to Ukrainians. I had found good people who wanted to help, so that was a start. I began communicating with my network about how someone in Nashville could help victims of a war on another continent.