Imagine fleeing your home with little more than the shirt on your back, and then relocating to a foreign country. That is the situation for more than 20 families who have arrived in Steinbach, from the war-torn country of Ukraine.
Denis Vassart is Co-Chair of the Steinbach Area Ukrainian Settlement Task Force. He says the families that are showing up in Steinbach are basically starting from scratch. This includes everything from complete families to grandparents to single mothers with their children.
Vassart says most of those that have already arrived in Steinbach are staying with host families. In many cases they are living with friends and family that had previously moved to Steinbach.
The Task Force has been making arrangements so that residents of the southeast can donate furniture, household items and clothing to the Ukrainian refugees. Vassart says they have been partnering with Southland Church on this initiative and he is excited to announce a drop-off date.
On Tuesday, June 14th from 1 to 7 pm, Southland Church will accept the following donations:
- Beds/ mattresses/ cribs/ bassinets
- Sofas/ loveseats
- Coffee tables/ end tables
- Dining tables and chairs
- Dish sets
- Cutlery sets
- Kitchen utensils (serving spoons, spatulas, whisks, egg flipper, manual can openers, etc.)
- Mixing bowls
- Cookware (pots and pans/ casserole dishes)
- Baking sheets
- Bedding (sheets, blankets, quilts, pillowcases, etc. No pillows please)
- Kitchen/ bath linens (tea/ hand/ bath towels, dishcloths)
- Clothing for men, women and children of all ages
- Coats and Jackets (all seasons)
- Shoes and boots
Vassart says items they will not accept are those that are ripped, stained, broken or worn out. They will also not accept electrical items of any sort.
Monetary donations to the Ukraine Fund can be made at Southland Church for charitable donation receipt. Cheques should be made payable to Southland Church, with Ukraine Fund specified in the memo line.
Request forms for furniture and household items for Ukraine settlers and/ or host families can be completed online at www.mysouthland.com/ukraine
For those making a donation on Tuesday, they should head to the west entrance at Southland Church at 190 Highway 52 West. Items should only be dropped off between 1 and 7 pm on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Vassart says the response from the community towards the newcomers has been nothing but fantastic. As for the refugees, he notes they are happy to be here, though not thrilled with the situation that brought them to Steinbach.