With hearts in the community filled with concern and care for the people of Ukraine, the effort to help support displaced families in the Nelson area has reached its midway fundraising goal.
In late-April, more than 130 people attended a Ukrainian perogies and beer night at Finley’s Bar & Grill that raised $8,500. The Ukraine Refugee’s To Nelson group has a goal to raise an additional $17,000 to assist in supporting two Ukrainian families who will arrive to the region in the coming weeks.
“Our small team will continue to do what we can to support the families arriving so they know that the community of Nelson will be a supportive environment in which they will thrive in when they arrive,” says Tina Coletti, treasurer for the Ukraine Refugee’s To Nelson group.
The group is working with the Highlands Baptist Church in Edmonton who have sponsored displaced individuals from several countries since 2017 through the non-profit Refugee Bridge organization.
With two Nelson area host families willing to open their homes in the coming months for a short-term stay, the goal is to have the Ukrainian refugees get established so they can live independently.
Funds raised will be targeted for food, medical expenses, counselling, clothing and technology such as cell phones. Staying with the host families for four to six months, the group will support the refugees with the skills needed to find employment and start to understand Canadian culture.
“The people who come to Nelson don’t want a hand-out, they want a safe place to live and figure out how they are going to face the immense challenges ahead as this invasion continues to take such a devastating toll in Ukraine,” says Coletti, a retired nurse.
The fundraiser at Finley’s was a generous community gathering that included great food and live Ukrainian music. The silent auction featured more than 60 donated items from local businesses and artists that generated close to $5,000.
The group will continue to raise funds through bake sales, tax-deductible crowd funding, raffles and a current online auction that is open until May 16 which can be found at: https://app.galabid.com/ukrainefamily2nelson/items
Anyone who would like to contribute the local effort, cheques can be mailed to the non-profit coordinating body at: Highlands Baptist Church, 5351 112 Avenue NW, Edmonton, Alberta, T5W 0N6 (place “Nelson Refugee Program” in the note section of the cheque).
The tax-deductible crowd-funding site can be found at: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/highlands-baptist-church/campaign/ukrainian-refugee-nelson/
The Ukraine Refugee’s To Nelson group would like to express appreciation to Finley’s and to the over 60 Nelson region’s business and artisan community members who have donated to the effort.
Photo Caption: The Ukrainian perogies and beer fundraiser at Finley’s Bar & Grill raised $8,500 for the Ukraine Refugee’s To Nelson group. — Submitted photo