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Okanagan efforts to support Ukraine continue with donations, equipment

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Okanagan efforts to support Ukraine continue
Local Ukrainian groups are doing their best to support Ukraine, amid the ongoing Russian invasion – Mar 9, 2022

A local Ukrainian group is continuing its efforts in supporting Ukraine during the ongoing Russian invasion.

Kelowna Stands With Ukraine has now made a new Facebook group called Kelowna Ukrainian Refugees.

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“The idea is, we have so many local people asking how they can help refugees, both with accommodation and donations, also helping to find jobs,” said Denys Storozhuk, Kelowna Stands With Ukraine’s organizer.

“And we have plenty of Ukrainians asking about Kelowna and coming to Canada, as well.“

One of Denys Storozhuk’s friends, who is a Kelowna resident, has arrived in Ukraine and joined the Ukrainian military to help defend the country.

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“It’s emotional. He could not just sit here and wait,” said Storozhuk.

“He believes that every drop counts. He has some military background. He believes every person can make the difference to break the Russian invasion.“

The man, whose identity is being withheld for his safety, sent a video back to Canada from his arrival in Poland. In it, he thanked all the Canadians who not only outfitted him with military gear, but also sent him with five large bags full of essential military and medical supplies.

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Storozhuk translated the video for Global News.

“Thank you to everybody who helped me depart. It was hard, but I was able to get here,” the man says in the video.

“Everything you gave to us is already here and I thank all Canadians who helped us, god save you all.”

Kelowna Stands With Ukraine is planning a convoy from Kelowna to Vernon on Saturday starting at 2 p.m.

They have now sent 19 bulletproof helmets and 53 sets of body armour.

Much of the military equipment was purchased at discount at Spades Tactical in Kelowna.

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Storozhuk is also thanking them for their donations.

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Also in Vernon, the Sadok Ukrainian Dance Ensemble will be hosting a fundraiser at their dance studio on March 19, from 5 to 8 p.m.

“We’re asking the community to come out and bring out your cash and cheques, have a Kubasa bun and support our fundraising efforts through the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Canada Ukraine Foundation Humanitarian Appeal,” said Andrea Malysh, Sadok Ukrainian Dance Ensemble’s artistic director.

Malysh says the support they’ve seen from the community has touched her heart.

“I’m just very thankful, very thankful. It’s a very hard time,” she tearfully said.

Both Kelowna Stands With Ukraine and the Sadok Ukrainian Dance Ensemble are looking for more volunteers to help with their efforts.

They are asking potential volunteers to contact them through their social media pages.

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