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How British Columbians can help Ukrainians as fighting with Russia intensifies

Click to play video: 'B.C.’s Ukrainian community reacts to Russian invasion'
B.C.’s Ukrainian community reacts to Russian invasion
Here in B.C., members of the Ukrainian diaspora reacted to the Russian invasion with a mixture of fear, anger and defiance. As Andrea Macpherson reports, while Ukrainian-Canadians are glued to the TV and their social media feeds for the latest on what's happening, their thoughts are focused on the safety of family and friends facing Russian aggression – Feb 24, 2022

Many British Columbians are looking for ways to help Ukrainians, as the crisis with Russia continues to escalate.

The Ukrainian Canadian Congress B.C. has staged multiple rallies including a car convoy where several dozen Ukrainian Canadians and their supporters assembled in Vancouver Wednesday and Thursday afternoon. A third rally is being planned for Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Click to play video: 'Vancouver Art Gallery rally shows support for Ukraine'
Vancouver Art Gallery rally shows support for Ukraine

Read more: Ukraine orders full military mobilization to counter Russian invasion

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One B.C. resident is currently working in Ukraine and said he’s there to help in any way he can.

Chad Martz and his family live in Chilliwack, B.C., but he is now in the Karpasian mountains in the western part of Ukraine for his job as director of the group Hungry for Life, which will help Ukrainians flee their country.

“This affects so many different people, there’s a lot of anger, there’s a lot of frustration, there’s anxiety from those people who are currently in the conflict zone. So, people are not necessarily shocked as they’ve been dealing with the threat of this for eight years but now that it’s actually happening… it’s tough,” Martz explained.

Click to play video: 'President of the Ukrainian Canadian Club of Kingston reacts to invasion of Ukraine'
President of the Ukrainian Canadian Club of Kingston reacts to invasion of Ukraine

Eugene Lupynis, who sits on the board of Richmond’s Ivan Franko Ukrainian Centre, said B.C. estimated 200,000 residents of Ukrainian descent fear for their friends and family in Europe.

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Read more: ‘I call them every 20 minutes’: B.C. residents fear for family in Ukraine as invasion escalates

“Speaking to community members, everybody is worried, everybody is watching the news, every media outlet that can be found we are watching, trying to get the latest,” he said.

Are you a British Columbian looking to support Ukrainians abroad? Here are some sources:

How British Columbians can help

  • The Canada-Ukraine Foundation has created a GoFundMe and donation portal to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need in Ukraine. The foundation is also encouraging people to use the hashtag #HelpUkraineNow to raise awareness on social media. As of Thursday, the organization has raised $1,228,340.
  • Charitable Foundation Voices of Children provides support programs for children affected by war in Ukraine. They accept donations at voices.org.ua.
  • On Facebook, the United Help Ukraine page is asking for donations to help provide food, medical supplies and humanitarian relief for the front lines.
  • Hungry for Life helps Ukrainians flee their country, you can donate at hungryforlife.org/donate.
  • The Canadian Red Cross has launched the Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal to respond to those affected by the ongoing conflict. Donations will enable the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement to respond to humanitarian needs in Ukraine and surrounding countries, including those who are displaced.

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