“We have a large room here that we expect to be the mom’s room, with a bit of a living room, and we have a partial kitchen here,” says Chris Conway, one of the sponsors.
Conway and Mary-Jo Dingwall are also preparing a bathroom and a second bedroom in the downstairs of their house.
It will be home for a Ukrainian mother and her 15-year-old daughter that the couple have sponsored to come to Canada.
Dingwall and Conway say they were horrified by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and wanted to help.
“It seemed pretty clear that what we could do is offer assistance to a family that was fleeing from Ukraine,” says Conway.
Once word got out, neighbours and friends began to pitch in and help.
Conway and Dingwall say the neighbourhood has been great in responding with financial donations, and even small household items, but they say more is needed.
“Some people have donated, like, a mini fridge, we’ve got another fridge in the basement, a microwave and so on,” says Dingwall.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to cover the immediate costs of getting the young family to Canada.
“The important short-term costs are the plane flights,” says Conway.
“Some Ukrainians who are coming to Canada can afford their own flights, our particular family is not able to do that.”
They also hope there will be enough money help the refugee family find a place of their own and become self-sufficient.
“We need first and last month’s rent when they eventually get their own apartment, you know costs of searching for employment, which the mom wants to do,” adds Conway.
Conway and Dingwall say if everything goes as planned, the mother and daughter should arrive in Canada sometime next month.