The City of Langford and the city’s fire department are joining forces to raise money for Ukraine.
A fundraising committee has been formed and events are being held, like a dance and pierogi dinner at the Legion on Station Avenue.
Langford Mayor Stew Young said the original goal to raise $20,000 has already been met, with a new goal set at $50,000.
“We have to be a community that looks out for others, no matter where in the world that happens and do what we can to help people who are getting bombed every single day by a monster like Putin, who is a war criminal, and people need to say that and talk about what’s actually happening.”
The focus of the fundraising is to have money to support any incoming refugees arriving in Langford who are fleeing the invasion, Fire Chief Chris Aubrey said.
“We didn’t want to wait till families were here before we started raising money,” he said.
Aubrey pointed to similar efforts that supported Syrian refugees in 2016 after the war in that country. While he knew of no Ukrainian families currently lined up to come to Langford, the fundraising aims to hopefully have supports in place when refugees start arriving through the federal government. Any money that isn’t used for those efforts will go towards the Red Cross, he added.
West Shore RCMP Insp. Steve Rose was part of an RCMP mission sent to Ukraine between July 2019 and March 2020, to train local police on domestic violence and crime scene investigations.
“I worked and taught in some of those communities, you know, Kharkiv, Odessa, Kiev, cities that now look like a war zone. They were very much like you would see here in Canada, cities where people are going about their day-to-day life and trying to provide for their families,” Rose said. “Now, they’ve been thrust into the middle of a war. It’s tragic.”
Rose has been in contact with some of the people he trained and worked with there, who’ve been telling him where support is most needed in terms of donations.