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Three ways to help Ukrainians

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Many of you want to lend a hand to the Ukrainian people, hard hit by the war. Material donations, welcoming refugees, cash donations: here are three ways to help them from Quebec.

Material donations

Located in the borough of Ville-Marie, Saint-Michel-Archange Ukrainian Catholic Church is the designated collection point for donations destined for Ukraine. Everything is accepted there: non-perishable food, hygiene products, clothing. However, medications such as acetaminophen and children’s medications are preferred. So far, the collection has been a success; evidenced by the piles of boxes piled up in the busy premises of the church. A first batch was sent Thursday to Toronto, from where it will be sent to Poland, then to Ukraine. “It’s not just Ukrainians giving. It’s everyone. People understand each other very quickly here, even if they don’t speak the same language,” remarks Carolina Calmic, a Moldovan volunteer we met on site. At the same time, Isabelle Landry slips a note into the pocket of a fur coat that she has just given away. “Good luck,” she wrote in her hand. A few kilometers away, the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary collects donations for the arrival of Ukrainian refugees. More than a million Ukrainians have fled the country at war since the beginning of the Russian invasion, and according to Michael Shwec, president of the Quebec Provincial Council of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress, Quebec must be ready to welcome migrants from one day to the next. “What we’re looking for are coats, shoes, clothes for women and children. Toys too, if possible,” says Mr. Shwec.

Saint-Michel-Archange Ukrainian Catholic Church: 2388 D’Iberville Street, Montreal

Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary: 6175, 10and Avenue, Montreal

Reception of refugees

Those who wish to get more involved can also fill out the form available on the Facebook page of the Quebec Provincial Council of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. It is possible to offer to host a Ukrainian family, offer financial support or even help refugees with their immigration procedures. “We are in the process of getting organized with different levels of government. We did it with the federal government. The next is the provincial and then the City of Montreal,” says Michael Shwec. A list of Quebecers ready to house Ukrainian refugees is also circulating on social networks. The initiative of Alexandre Dufresne, a lawyer from Quebec, has already collected more than 1200 names in the space of a few days. “And the list keeps growing! exclaimed Mr. Dufresne, who contacted his deputies to this effect. “My goal is for the list to do something, for it to end up in the hands of the right organization,” he says. At the time these lines were written, the Quebec government had not answered our questions about these initiatives. The City of Montreal salutes for its part “the generosity of Montrealers who wish to offer accommodation”, but indicates that it is “currently too early to decide whether the Ukrainian migrants will need it”. By e-mail, she reminds that the population can contact the Greater Montreal Reference Center by dialing 211 to find out about the reception and integration organizations for immigrants closest to their home.

Cash donations

“We appreciate every gesture, big or small. All help counts”, insists Michael Shwec. For those who cannot come, but still wish to contribute, it is always possible to make cash donations. As of March 3, the Canadian Red Cross has already raised $36.2 million. “The money really allows us to target the most pressing needs,” says Jean-Sébastien Pariseau, spokesperson for the Canadian Red Cross. The funds raised are used to send personnel and emergency equipment to Ukraine and Poland. To those who wish to make a donation, the Red Cross advises to “be careful” and “do business with recognized organizations”. In the country, there is also the Canada-Ukraine Foundation, which announced Friday an additional aid of 1 million dollars in partnership with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress. The sum will be disbursed early next week for humanitarian purposes in Ukraine and for its refugees.

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