Warm clothes still needed for refugees


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Thank you, Manitoba!

In my last column, I asked for your help providing winter clothes and housewares for Ukrainian and Nigerian refugees new to Winnipeg.

And boy, did you answer the call. I received calls and emails across Winnipeg, with folks generously offering coats, parkas, sweaters, boots, hats and gloves. Knitters made hats by the dozens and, in some cases, the hundreds. Others did their fall cleaning a little early and contacted me to come to pick items up. I easily collected a dozen SUVs full of items.

The generosity didn’t stop at the Perimeter, either. One of my jobs takes me across eastern Manitoba, from Pinawa to Oakbank. I ran an article about the need in the Clipper Weekly, and the calls came from across the region. More SUVs full of items were picked up. Many people bought brand-new coats, socks and gloves for the cause.

Your kindness comes at a perfect time, as that first bit of snow we recently got had some of our friends worried about what would come next. Thanks to you, a few hundred folks have winter clothes for themselves and their families.

The need is still there. As of late summer, more than 2,000 families have registered with the Canadian Ukrainian Congress. New families are registering every week, too. They will need the same help as those who arrived earlier in the year. The Canadian Ukrainian Congress said it would gladly accept warm winter clothing at its depot at the UNF Hall at 935 Main St. Also needed are children’s toys and small household items such as cutlery, kettles, pots and pans. Non-perishable food and personal hygiene items are also being accepted.

On a recent Friday afternoon, my wife and I dropped off a couple of loads of clothes at the UNF Hall. There was a line of people 40-strong waiting to get help once a spot opened up inside. That line was solid all afternoon and featured many women and young children.

Please don’t get tired of helping, becaue the need is strong. Most people I have met were lucky to come to Canada with a couple of suitcases for the entire family. They need everything.

Keep an eye out for news from the Canadian Ukrainian Congress as it seeks to help the war effort in Ukraine. We are also working on a Christmas party for Ukrainian children, and there will soon be more news about that.

Tony Zerucha

Tony Zerucha
East Kildonan community correspondent

Tony Zerucha is a community correspondent for East Kildonan. Email him at tzerucha@gmail.com

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