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Standing with Ukraine

24 February 2022

Image Description: KYIV, UKRAINE - Feb. 12, 2022: Territorial defense exercises amid the threat of a Russian military invasion of Ukraine. Military exercises for civilians in Kyiv, Ukraine

By Kate Bouchard

People all across the globe have heavy hearts today as Russian troops invade Ukraine.

From afar, one may have feelings of restlessness, helplessness, sadness, and grief - especially for those of Ukrainian descent or who have loved ones living back home in a country now under attack.

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As a third-generation Canadian-Ukrainian on my mother’s side, and having grown up in a community with a prominent Ukrainian culture, I have personally seen the strength, pride, and kindness of the Ukrainian people. This includes family friend Olena*, a Ukrainian-Russian who was born in the city of Tula, which is 3 hours from Moscow. Olena and her family lived all their lives in Crimea, which previously was in the territory of Ukraine. They left in the 2000’s in hopes of a safer life.

Olena, her husband, and young daughter settled in Richmond, British Columbia, with most of their loved ones back home. I reached out to Olena to express support in the days prior to the attack. She shared messages of hope, saying at the time that “The situation is very complex and unstable. It is difficult to understand and accept all this, how can there be war in the 21st century. We are constantly in touch with our relatives and friends. Some of them are preparing for defense, some are going to help in the hospital,” she explained.  “This state cannot be described in words. But there is no panic. Ukrainians are strong. We hope that reason still prevails.”

Tweleve hours later and bombs were being dropped on the country Olena calls home. 

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She kindly shared an update with me the next morning that “So far, everything is fine and most importantly, everyone is alive,” said Olena. “Yesterday we talked with relatives, they live in Kiev. They said that they heard explosions, there were huge queues at gas stations, and women with children were moving to the western part of Ukraine, to a safer place. As soon as they arrive at the place, we will be informed and we will be able to start all possible assistance for families with small children.”

While mis-information and propaganda is disseminated from the Kremlin, Olena told me that the internet is still working in Ukraine and while those lines of communication are still up, they have comfort in direct access to relatives with truthful, first-hand information.

“We cannot understand and accept this war, which divides not only states, lands, but also families,” shared Olena.

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Many are being left wondering how we can help. Here’s how you can support:


TAKE ACTION 

DONATE

Nova Ukrainehttps://novaukraine.org/
Nova Ukraine is a registered non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about Ukraine in the US and throughout the world and providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

Revived Soldiers Ukraine https://www.rsukraine.org/ 

Revived Soldiers Ukraine (RSU) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing aid to the people of Ukraine so that they may fulfill fundamental rights and freedoms such as right to life, right to appropriate and affordable medical care, freedom of belief and freedom for an adequate standard of living.

“Anhelyk” Foundation https://hromada.us/anhelyk/ 

A non-profit organization based in San Francisco that raises funds for children whose parents gave their lives in the Russian-Ukrainian war in Eastern Ukraine. 

Canada Ukraine Foundation https://www.cufoundation.ca/cuf-ucc-ukraine-humanitarian-relief/ 

The Canada-Ukraine Foundation (CUF) was established to coordinate, develop, organize, and deliver assistance projects generated by Canadians and directed to Ukraine. Currently fundraising specifically for humanitarian assistance/relief in the areas of Assistance to displaced persons, Medical care, Emergency shelter and Food security.

Support Hospitals in the Ukraine via UA Hospitals

http://www.uahospitals.org/

UA Hospitals' supply partner, Project CURE, collects surplus medical supplies and equipment from hospitals in different areas of the USA, and stocks them in their warehouses.

READ

Infosheet on Russian Aggression Against Ukraine, via the Ukrainian American Crisis Response Commission of Michigan 

BUY

Support Ukrainian brands and businesses which fund their economy and people.

STAND

An up-to-date list of upcoming rallies and events against Russian invasion of Ukraine, including those both in the USA and Canada

#WeStandWithUkraine

*RIPPLE OF CHANGE is opting to withhold last names.


Headshot of Kate

Kate Bouchard

Marketing and Brand Director (she/her)

Kate is Founder + Principal of Armature Collective, where she leads a team of creative freelancers in delivering marketing and branding strategy for clients. She holds a BBA in Marketing Management, and various leadership training certifications from Royal Roads University.

Kate believes strongly in giving back to arts and community services, and has served in numerous community leadership roles on board of directors for non-profits. In 2019, Kate was nominated for the Women of Influence RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award. She is also a writer, actress, filmmaker, and coach, and has been featured in Huffpost CanadaVitamin DailyBusiness in Vancouver, and Mother Muse magazine.

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