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PHOTOS: Saanich retirement community raises almost $25,000 for Ukraine relief

Two women spearhead fundraising efforts by making ribbons in return for donations

The residents of Berwick Royal Oak – a Saanich retirement community – raised almost $25,000 for relief in Ukraine and were recognized for their generous efforts Tuesday (March 29).

The fundraising efforts began thanks to two women living in the community, who decided over coffee one morning they needed to help in whatever way they could – and they chose to do so by handmaking ribbons and flags using Ukraine’s blue and yellow flag colours.

Tini Hayden and Berte Fraser put their creative abilities to work and were able to raise more money than they had even thought possible.

“We were really concerned and wanted to do something to help,” said Fraser. “Tini suggested that we make ribbons so we did that and then we made a box for donations, people were just so enthusiastic and so willing to give and it just kept on coming – we were really amazed.”

ALSO READ: Photos from Ukraine help teens Rise Together for Victoria fundraiser

Born in Holland, Hayden said this crisis hits home.

“My question is why? Why can’t we sit down, talk and listen to each other – this shouldn’t be happening again in 2022,” said Hayden with tears in her eyes. “I just feel so bad for the children and the mothers – I had to do something.”

All funds will go toward the Ukrainian Catholic Church of St. Nicholas’ partnership with Caritas Ukraine, an organization that provides humanitarian assistance. They distribute aid in Ukraine including medical and hygiene supplies, food, and other necessities.

A family connected to St. Nicholas Parish matched the money raised by the residents at Berwick Royal Oak.

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