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Non-profit groups team up to help Ukrainian refugees

The newly-established Shelter for Ukrainians Society is teaming up with Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies (CFKR) to support Ukrainian people who are fleeing Russia’s invasion.

CFKR officials said the Shelter for Ukrainians Society started as an ad-hoc committee of local community leaders before becoming a B.C. registered non-profit society shortly after it was created.

The Shelter for Ukrainians Society started with eleven members with educator and administrator, Bonnie Spence-Vinge, elected as President, and local lawyer, Marko Maryniak, serving as Vice-President.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hits very close to home. My parents fled World War II and immigrated to Canada from Ukraine, as did many others. They would not have made it without help. Now, it’s our turn to help people who are fleeing the war in Ukraine and are seeking safe haven in Canada.  We are very grateful to the Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies for their support,” said Maryniak.

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The Society will give funds to families and individuals arriving in the Cranbrook area from Ukraine.

“We’re working with them to accept tax receipt eligible charitable donations on their behalf,” said Lynnette Wray, CFKR executive director. “Those funds are to help people from Ukraine who are coming to our community. These are people who are coming with little more than clothes on their back.”

Wray said the CFKR has entered into a three-year agreement with the Shelter for Ukrainians Society, as that is the same time frame for federal government programs for Ukrainian refugees.

“It’s heart-wrenching watching what’s going on in Ukraine, and this is a way people can help these folks into our community, help them feel safe, and then hopefully they’re able to return to their home when they choose to,” said Wray.

Wray said some people have already arrived in the community, and another family will be on their way in the near future.

Donations can be made to CFKR via cheque, noting “Ukraine” in the memo, or e-transfer to [email protected] with “Ukraine” in the notes. Cheques can be mailed to PO Box 242, Cranbrook, BC, V1C 4H8 or dropped off at the CFKR office at Ground Floor Coworking Space at 131 7th Ave. South.

Cash donations can be dropped off at the same location and credit card contributions can be made as well, with an additional administration fee, through the link below.

More: CFKR donation page

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