Edmonton donation centre describes urgent need for supplies for Ukrainians

·2 min read
Tetiana Moskalenko, a volunteer at the Boilermakers Lodge 146 in Edmonton, is urging people to donate supplies to support Ukrainians in Canada and Ukraine. (Emily Fitzpatrick/CBC - image credit)
Tetiana Moskalenko, a volunteer at the Boilermakers Lodge 146 in Edmonton, is urging people to donate supplies to support Ukrainians in Canada and Ukraine. (Emily Fitzpatrick/CBC - image credit)

A donation centre to help Ukrainians new to Canada says it's in desperate need of supplies to support traumatized new arrivals.

Jamie Hanlon, a volunteer at the donation centre hosted at the Boilermakers Lodge 146 in Edmonton, is asking the public for mattresses, sofas and any other household items they can donate.

"Without more donations, unfortunately, some folks are going to go away without having some of those basic needs met," Hanlon said.

He said about 50 or 60 people passed through the donation centre on Saturday and guesses they've helped thousands of people since the war began in February.

But while donations have been pouring in, Hanlon said the demand continues to grow.

"Literally as quickly as we get stuff coming in, it's moving out just as fast."

While getting comfortably settled in Canada is important for the recent Ukrainian arrivals, Hanlon also said they face ongoing trauma over the events still unfolding in Ukraine. Support from Canadians, he hopes, could help people as they try to cope with the effects of the war.

"They feel so supported here in Canada," Hanlon said. "I've had people leave [the donation centre] literally with smiles on their faces and tears in their eyes.

Emily Fitzpatrick/CBC
Emily Fitzpatrick/CBC

Many people who have come to Canada since the war started still have family members at home in Ukraine, a reality which weighs heavily on them.

Tetiana Moskalenko came to Canada a decade ago but still has relatives in Ukraine, one of whom has died since the war began. She has plans to bring her 17-year-old nephew to Canada, and eventually his mother and sister.

At the moment, she said food is expensive and hard to access in Ukraine, particularly for people living in cities. She hopes others will continue to support struggling Ukrainians here in Canada and abroad.

"I hope God can help us and stop this war. Because for all of us, it's so sad."

Organizers are encouraging people to drop off donations at the Boilermakers Lodge on 114 Avenue on Tuesday and Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

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