N.B. church steps up as Ukraine community group gathers humanitarian aid

Click to play video: 'New Brunswick church taking donations for Ukraine' New Brunswick church taking donations for Ukraine
WATCH: A local church is stepping up to help the Ukraine community of Fredericton – acting as a depot station for medical donations. The items are eventually heading to Ukraine, where the Russian invasion continues. Global’s Nathalie Sturgeon reports. – Mar 3, 2022

One church in Fredericton, N.B., has stepped up to act as a drop-off location for mainly medical supplies and donations for the Ukraine Community of Fredericton.

Journey Church has set up a room where donations have been pouring in. On the door, a sign bearing the Ukrainian flag says “thank you for supporting the Ukrainian community.”

Inside, volunteers are working hard to get things sorted and into boxes while others are on the phone coordinating the logistics of getting the supplies to the war zone.

Read more: Most Canadians see Russian invasion of Ukraine escalating to world war: survey

On the tables, there are medications, medical supplies, boxes filled with baby diapers, toilet paper and surgery supplies – it’s an all-out effort to get humanitarian aid to the people in Ukraine.

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The group isn’t collecting things like clothing or food, though, just medical supplies that can be flown into the area or along the border.

Click to play video: 'The latest on the war in Ukraine' The latest on the war in Ukraine
The latest on the war in Ukraine – Mar 3, 2022

Gary Sharpe, a pastor at the church, has spent some time in Ukraine.

“We have decided to support the Ukrainian community of Fredericton and New Brunswick in any way we can and that includes a drop-off centre – us being a drop-off centre – for the Ukrainian people of Fredericton,” he said in an interview Thursday.

“We all have friends and relationships in Ukraine. I’ve spent time in Ukraine helping to build a school, and so we all have friends that we’re trying to support just because we know they are under such hardship right now.”

He said it was important because there are so many things that can be useful for those who have lost everything.

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Read more: Russia-Ukraine conflict: UN issues ‘flash appeal’ for $1.1B in humanitarian assistance

Lead pastor Matt Maxwell said it is amazing to see people coming together to support one another, even when things feel so out of control.

“Seeing corporations and people coming together,” he said, “even if you know it’s a box of bandaids, you actually are helping, and that is going to be on the ground in Ukraine within a matter of days or weeks. That (is) such a helpful thing … you think you can’t do something but that is doing something.”

The church accepts donations Monday through Friday from 8:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

A list of items that are needed is available on the church Facebook page.

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