In December, we shared about a matching grant opportunity for Ukrainians in crisis; an opportunity that, in combination with other partners, has resulted in over 250 shipments of much-needed relief supplies reaching people both in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries.
The opportunity arose when a Castlegar family put forward a matching grant of up to $5,000 – cumulatively $10,000 – towards meeting immediate needs in Ukraine.
We were overwhelmed by the generous response, as the match was exceeded! Relief supplies have already reached many target recipients while more are currently en route from various locations throughout Canada and Europe.
An example of the impact these supplies are having comes from Western Ukraine, where a shipment of mattresses and dehydrated soup mix arrived last year. People who have been impacted include Nikolai and his wife Galina, together with their children, fourteen-year-old Stas and two-year-old Alisa. They found refuge in Western Ukraine in the village of Ivanichi. Before the war, Nikolai worked at a foundry, and Galina worked at a confectionary shop. As a result of the ongoing aggression, the family was left without a means of supporting themselves.
Now, they receive only social benefits as Internally Displaced People (IDPs). The family was able to rent a small apartment in Ivanichi, but soon realized that the mattresses were in terrible condition. Nikolai turned to a charity foundation for help, asking if it would be possible to get new mattresses. Not only was this request met, but the family also received a grocery box, dry soup, lentils, sugar, as well as dishes and toys for the children.
Nikolai, Galina, and their children were overjoyed, and deeply thankful for the abundance of support. This provision has given them a sense of security and hope for the foreseeable future.
Nikolai’s and Galina’s story is only one of hope and encouragement, thanks to the generosity of many in the Kootenay community.
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