On April 23, a large group of women from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered to learn how to make pierogis, learn about Ukrainian culture and gather kitchen supplies. (Contributed photo)

On April 23, a large group of women from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered to learn how to make pierogis, learn about Ukrainian culture and gather kitchen supplies. (Contributed photo)

Displaced Ukrainians continue receiving assistance in Central Alberta

When Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, Nataliia and Paul Krukowski were certain it would take weeks or months before the fighting reached their home in Lutsk, Ukraine.

But just three days later, bombs were dropping already on a nearby airport, shaking the windows in their home. They took three suitcases, loaded their five young children into their small vehicle and drove 89 kilometres to Poland, leaving their home and most of their possession behind.

On April 18, the family of seven arrived in Lacombe and are staying in the home of Neil and Patti Harker. The children started school April 25 and their parents began looking for employment. Once they can support themselves, the next step will be to move into an apartment of their own.

“Many people helped us while we were in Poland and also helped us get to Canada,” said Natlaliia.

“We are very grateful to everyone who has helped. Our family is together and safe.”

Many churches, organizations and individuals are teaming up to help displaced Ukrainian families, like the Krukowskis, get kitchen supplies, linens and basic furniture.

On April 23, a large group of women from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gathered to learn how to make pierogis, learn about Ukrainian culture and gather kitchen supplies.

Melanie Law, Stake Relief Society President for the Red Deer Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said the Ukrainian Displaced Person Planning Committee is a coordinated effort by several churches, businesses and local government leaders to assist displaced Ukrainians as they arrive in Central Alberta.

“We met at the St. Vladimir Ukrainian Catholic Church to coordinate our efforts,” Law explained.

“There are over 50 displaced people here so far and many more are on their way. We’re trying to help as best we can and this effort is bringing our community together as a whole.”

Canada has the world’s third-largest Ukrainian population behind Ukraine and Russia. In 2016, there were over 1.3 million people of full or partial Ukrainian origin residing in Canada.

The vast majority of Ukrainian-Canadians live in the prairie provinces, with approximately 350,000 in Alberta. To assist displaced Ukrainians in Central Alberta, reach out to The Ukrainian Displaced Person Planning Committee by email at ukr.dis.families@gmail.com.



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