At Battle Rattle Tactical Supplies in Edmonton, demand for protective gear and medical kits is high.
“It’s amazing the amount that has been selling out,” said Battle Rattle volunteer accountant David Bryenton. “We’ve talked to other tactical shops as well, which are having an amazing response.”
People are buying everything from chest protectors to boots and rain gear.
Bryenton said the store has seen more customers lately looking to buy these supplies to send to Ukraine.
“Allowing the people to protect themselves — to be able to have some sort of backup that will allow them to operate within a military setting as much as possible,” Bryenton said.
“Medical backpacks are absolutely key for being able to help the injured.”
Edmontonian Roman Basarab bought a number of items including roughly a dozen medical backpacks.
“I’m Ukrainian. I’ve been living in Canada for 10 years but I just couldn’t stand aside,” Basarab said. “I just want to do something useful and not just sit and do nothing.”
He said it’s difficult to watch what’s happening there and wants to do whatever he can to help.
“We saw a brutal, violent and unforgiveable attack on Ukrainian citizens. We will not forget it and now the people of Ukraine are fighting for their freedom,” Basarab said.
Another Battle Rattle customer packed four suitcases full of supplies and boarded a plane to get it all to Ukraine himself, according to Bryenton.
“I paid for the upgrade so that that person could, on the way to Poland, be in first class and be able to carry more baggage with them,” Bryenton explained.
“This was my way of contributing to having immediate action. Having them get medical and protective gear immediately is actually one of the biggest things.”
The Ukrainian Canadian Congress Edmonton branch is working to get supplies overseas too, packing boxes full of different kinds of aid.
A warehouse in west Edmonton at 11260-184 Street is taking supply donations as part of a campaign dubbed Fill a Plane for Ukraine.
People can donate until Saturday and find a list of needed items here.
“The Ukrainian Canadian Congress has actually booked a flight — a full flight — over to Poland to deliver the products. They have had massive donations,” Bryenton said.