Thousands of kilometres away from loves ones, a group of volunteers pack boxes of medical supplies bound of Ukraine.
“My mom is texting and calling me constantly, saying the walls and windows are shaking,” volunteer Anna Kasianenko said.
“In my room, we have a wood window and the frame broke from the shakes.”
Her parents and grandmother live outside of Kyiv, close to where there have been bombings.
She and many others volunteering say the action makes them feel less helpless oceans away.
“This is the best I can do at this point,” Kasianenko said.
It’s a sentiment shared by volunteer Anna Yurkova, whose dad, aunt, uncle and friends are in Ukraine.
“You feel this enormous guilt for not being there for your family, for not getting them out before the war started,” she said.
“You’re restless, you can’t sleep, you can’t eat.”
Kasianenko and Yurkova are helping out with a donation collection co-ordinated by the Ukrainian National Federation. Organizers estimate thousands of pounds of supplies have been dropped off at Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Church in Calgary.
“The support has been overwhelming,” organizer Iryna Goulet said.
“Ukraine is like a beehive — we are friendly and hospitable, but as soon as you touch it, they’ll come out and fight. As you can see, the beehive is together,” she said.
The donations will make their way to Edmonton before being transported to Poland and moved across the Ukraine border, according to Goulet.
“We were called… (and) asked, ‘Can you step up in 24 hours and deliver the package to Edmonton?’ We put the website up and before we knew it, people were overwhelmingly responding. We stepped up and made it happen. Now we have everything and we just need to make sure it gets to the right place.”
The Ukrainian National Federation is asking for the public’s help to find a courier that can send future loads of donations overseas — directly from Calgary — to aid Ukraine as it grapples with the Russian military invasion.