"We continue to see families arrive". That was the message from Chris Goertzen who is a Co-chair of the Ukrainian Settlement Taskforce.
He notes they are in need of more supplies for new arrivals to the Southeast.
With the conflict continuing in Ukraine, Goertzen says they are working hard to offer the people some sort of comfort. "People are looking for a secure and safe place for their families to re-settle. We've seen in the last week alone, 11 new families have come looking for furnishings for the place and we have an additional number of families on their way, so the need continues to rise for the task force."
"We certainly are seeing people. They are recognizing that this is a good place to live" Goertzen added. "Whether it's temporary or permanent, we certainly want to help the people who are fleeing the conflict in Ukraine."
Goertzen says it's difficult to know just how many Ukrainian refugee families have come to the Southeast adding "We believe it's 70-80 families who are being assisted with the chance of a few more that maybe haven't contacted the task force, yet. We are seeing a significant number of people from Ukraine looking to re-settle for part-time or a full-time place to live."
With all this in mind, the Ukrainian Settlement Taskforce has organized a supply drive on Tuesday. Goertzen says they will be collecting home furnishings at the Southland Church Distribution Centre from 5 to 8 P.M. on Tuesday, November 15th.
With so many families already getting assistance and more on the way, Goertzen says they could use a bit of help on top of what the community has already done.
"What's so great is that we have so many partners in the community stepping up to help these families. We have the distribution centre at Southland Church which has been accepting donations for furnishing and all types. That's coffee tables, chairs, tables, sofas, and mattresses. That need is rising. If someone has some things that are not being used and have some good use left in them, we're asking them to drop them off."
Goertzen again stresses every little bit makes a difference. "To fill a house, there are a number of things you need. When you come and all you have is a suitcase or a few items of clothing, whether it's a spatula or a sofa, you need all the different things to start a life for your family. Most importantly, provide stability for the children."
The Ukrainian Settlement Taskforce is also looking for more volunteers to help accept donations, sort items and make deliveries. If you are interested, you are asked to contact Lorne at LorneP@mysouthland.com.