Victoria Grando, at the Ukrainian Cultural Centre in Victoria, has had little sleep for the past two nights, suggesting the phones haven’t stopped ringing at the Centre and a constant stream of people have been stopping by all wanting to help.
“It is busy. the phones are ringing like crazy. We have 33 messages.”
The Ukrainian Cultural Centre sells perogies and cabbage rolls as a fundraiser, but Grando says that the centre has run out of perogies in recent days from the volume of people they have been serving, adding that this week sold out instantly.
“We’re sold out for tonight. Just had a phone call from Nanaimo, ‘can I get twenty dozen of cabbage rolls?’ Nice.”
Devon Goldie is the lead organizer of Sunday’s rally for Ukraine at the BC Legislature.
She says there are concrete measures people can do to help Ukraine right now.
“The first is to contact your MP. And ask them to stand with Ukraine and enact harsh sanctions against Russia. That truly is the biggest and most impactful thing I think that we can do right now.”
Goldie says that fundraising is ongoing to help in the relief efforts.
“If you want to donate and you want to help, the Ukraine humanitarian appeal has been launched by the Canada Ukraine Foundation, with the support of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress,” notes Goldie.
The Red Cross launched a Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal Fund to assist those affected by the conflict and today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Ottawa is matching funds.
“Our government will match every donation you make to the Canadian Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian crisis appeal up to ten million dollars. This money will go directly to relief efforts in the region,” said Trudeau.
A key way to help is to show up at rallies in support of Ukraine, according to Goldie.
“We have a big rally planned for Sunday at 12:30 at the Legislature. And coming out and not just showing your support to your fellow Ukrainian Canadians, is incredibly meaningful.”
Victoria demonstrates its support by raising the distinctive blue and yellow Ukrainian flag in front of City Hall.
READ MORE: ‘All options are on the table’: Canada to sanction Vladimir Putin amid Russian invasion of Ukraine