Ukrainian newcomers are making their new apartments feel more like home with donated furniture from an Edmonton warehouse that is putting forth another pledge for donations.
The Ukrainian Newcomer Furniture Warehouse is where Anastsiia Drogatseva, who has been in Canada for about two months, is shopping on Saturday.
“We have fully empty apartments when we move in, so it’s really expensive to buy something even on marketplace or some stuff like that,” she said.
Drogatseva left her family behind in Ukraine and said it’s been difficult adjusting to life in another country.
“You know, a new country when you’re running out of a war – it’s really damaging, emotional damage.”
The furniture warehouse provides free furniture and other household necessities to more than 75 Ukrainian families every week. Many of the volunteers who work there are newcomers themselves.
“We have probably helped, I’d easily say hundreds of newcomers,” said warehouse volunteer Jamie Hanlon. “In Alberta alone, we have 20,000 Ukrainian newcomers that arrived on the CUAET visa. We have roughly 6,000 of (them) here in Edmonton.”
As the newcomer population increases, the need for donated furniture is staying steady.
“The key items that really become (absolute) necessities are things like beds, box springs, mattresses, kitchen tables, chairs, couches,” said Hanlon. “We want to make sure that they’re comfortable. They’ve come from literally unspeakable conditions. So, we want to make their transition into living in Canada as comfortable as possible.”
As Drogatseva continues to settle into her new city and looks for work, she is thankful for the help.
“I can’t even explain my gratefulness for this place, for (the) people who work here, because without them, without any person who helped us, I wouldn’t get any apartment, any furniture for free.”
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