Pictured, left to right — Front row: Shelter for Ukrainians Society Ruth Huffman; Marko Maryniak, Vice-President. Back Row: CFKR MIchele Bates, Chair, Lisa Barnes, Vice-Chair.

New Ukraine support group registered as non-profit society

Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies teaming up with Ukraine support group to help fundraise

Two local organizations are joining forces to support and help people fleeing Ukraine in the wake of Russia’s military invasion that has devastated the country.

The Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies is teaming up with the Shelter for Ukrainians Society — formerly an ad-hoc committee formed by community leaders — which is now an BC registered non-profit society. Consisting of 11 members, the new society’s board is led by Bonnie Spence-Vinge, a long-time educator and administrator as president, and Marko Maryniak, a local lawyer, as vice president.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine hits very close to home,” said Maryniak, in a press release. “My parents fled World War II and immigrated to Canada from Ukraine, as did many others. They would not have made it without help. Now, it’s our turn to help people who are fleeing the war in Ukraine and are seeking safe haven in Canada. We are very grateful to the Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies for their support.”

The Shelter for Ukrainians Society will provide funds to individuals and families arriving in Cranbrook from Ukraine in order to assist needs such as transportation, housing, essential supplies, education, general wellness, and employment.

While the initial focus is on supporting individuals and families coming to Cranbrook and the surrounding area, there is potential to expand that support more widely throughout the Kootenays.

The Community Foundation of the Kootenay Rockies (CFKR) has entered into a three-year agreement with the Shelter for Ukrainians Society. As a CRA-registered charity, CFKR will accept donations, provide tax receipts, steward the donated funds, and disburse the funds to the Society.

“For CFKR, it’s an honour to be working with the Shelter for Ukrainians Society to welcome these individuals and families to our communities,” said Michele Bates, CFKR Board Chair.

“A local donor has generously offered to cover CFKR’s 5 per cent cost-recovery/administration fee for the first $20,000 in donations. This means that 100 per cent of these donations will be directed to this important community initiative.”

Anyone wishing to make a charitable donation to the cause is encouraged to send a (preferred) cheque made out to “CFKR” noting “Ukraine” in the memo, in order to minimize administration fees. E-transfers can also be made to Lynnette.Wray@CFKRockies.ca (including “Ukraine” in the notes).

Cheques can be mailed to CFKR at PO Box 242, Cranbrook, BC, V1C 4H8 or delivered to the CFKR office in the Ground Floor Coworking Space at 131 7th Ave. S., Cranbrook. Cash donations can be dropped off at the same location. Credit card donations, which include an additional processing fee, can be made via the following link: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/71649

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