As people everywhere react in shock to the Russian attack of Ukraine, Saskatchewan residents with Ukrainian roots fear for their loved ones a world away.
Some locals are trying to help in any way they can.
Owner of Nestor’s Bakery, Keith Jorgenson, said, “We are selling Ukrainian flag doughnuts so you get a box of eight Ukrainian flag doughnuts for $20 and all the money is being donated to the Ukrainian relief effort.”
The family-run bakery has been around for 93 years. Jorgenson said as the fourth generation of Ukrainians to run the shop, he felt a pull to help the country his ancestors grew up in.
“You can sort of see where it is the right moment in time to … be raising money for Ukraine. There’s some really striking and heartbreaking images coming out of Ukraine,” said Jorgenson.
Within an hour of putting a post on Facebook about the donut fundraiser, Jorgenson said he received at least 90 requests and more than 400 shares.
Nestor’s is one of many in Saskatchewan with ties to Ukraine.
After checking in with friends in Ukraine he knows they are safe for the time being, but are still living in fear while fleeing their home country.
While many people around Saskatoon have mentioned it is hard to not feel helpless watching from afar, there are many ways Canadians can continue to support the people of Ukraine.
A Mennonite Central Committee Canada representative, Laura Kalmar said they have been working in Ukraine for more than 100 years and are ramping up projects to offer immediate help.
They have opened up a fundraiser on their website and they have already received a lot of support.
“People from Saskatoon, across Canada … the generosity they’re expressing is just really heartening,” said Kalmar.